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The Builder Magazine 

March 1918 - Volume IV - Number 3 



BROTHER J.E. Morcombe in a series of scholarly papers once declared (1) that after 
"a very serious course of historical reading extending through several months and 
covering (the?) period of the last three centuries" he was regretfully forced" to reject 
"as mainly mythical the alleged participation of American Masonic Lodges, as such, 
in affairs of the Revolution." 

A statement like this, coming from such a diligent and distinguished Masonic student, 
deserves consideration and analysis. If correct it destroys many cherished beliefs; if 
incorrect it ought, injustice to the craft, past and present, to be so declared. 

My own investigations have led me to a somewhat different conclusion. And while I 
am not prepared to say that the direct "participation of American Lodges" in our 
struggle for nationality was extensive, still I cannot but feel that their indirect 
assistance was great and their actual participation at certain stages determining. I will, 
therefore, state the results of my survey (2) of this field in language employed when it 
was first completed and, that my readers may themselves be enabled to judge of the 
soundness of my conclusions, I will, for each important statement, cite my authority. 

At the outbreak of the Revolution Masonic lodges in America were few and feeble. 
The oldest of them had existed less than half a century (3) and the membership was 
exceedingly small (4). But what was lacking in members was more than supplied in 
quality. The Freemasons of that period included the flower of colonial citizenship and 
their very fewness was a source of strength. In a small lodge all could know and trust 
each other; all felt the need of absolute secrecy in deliberation— of solidarity in action. 

Hence it is not strange that some of these colonial lodges became the centers of 
revolutionary propaganda (5). 


Foremost among these was the Lodge of St. Andrew at Boston. Founded in 1756 and 
chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1760, it began its career independent of 
English influence and just in time to share in the opening scenes of the war for 
independence. Joseph Warren was its Master, Paul Revere one of its early initiates 
and secretaries and later its Master, and on its rolls were the names of John Hancock, 
and James Otis and many others who are now recognized as the leading characters of 
that eventful epoch. And almost every important movement in the patriotic cause in 
Boston, preceding and precipitating the Revolution, may be traced back directly or 
indirectly to St. Andrew's Lodge. 

The famous "Sons of Liberty," organized in 1765 to resist the enforcement of the 
Stamp Act, were but an offshoot of this Lodge, and was also the "North End Caucus" 
(6) to which was committed the execution of some of the most daring plans of the 
patriots. Both of these organizations met at the Green Dragon Tavern which was 
owned and occupied by St. Andrew's Lodge, and the members of the latter were 
leaders in the former. It was at this tavern that the historic Boston Tea Party was 
planned by Warren, Revere and other members of St. Andrew's (7). The records of the 
lodge disclose that on the evening after the tea-laden ships arrived in Boston Harbor 
there was an adjournment on account of small attendance and the secretary adds the 
significant note that "consignees of tea took the brethren's time." The minutes of 
December 16, 1773, the date of the tea party, show that the lodge was again adjourned 
until the next evening (8). Its members were among that band of enthusiasts who had 
boarded the ships and were rapidly heaving the obnoxious tea into the waters of 
Boston Harbor. 

In the Stirling days which followed it was Paul Revere of St. Andrew's Lodge who 
earned the title of "The Patriotic Mercury" or "The Messenger of the Revolution." 
Thousands of miles he rode on horseback, spreading the news of the destruction of the 
tea, bearing despatches to other colonies, to New York and Philadelphia, to Provincial 

and Continental Congresses (9). And on that memorable night before the battle of 
Lexington it was by order of the Master of St. Andrew's, Joseph Warren, that Bro. 
Paul Revere set out upon his famous ride to Concord to warn his countrymen of the 
foe's approach— a ride which has been immortalized by the magic pen of Longfellow 
who tells us that 

"Through all our history to the last In the hour of darkness and peril and need The 
people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed And the 
midnight message of Paul Revere." 

And when at last the storm, which for years had been gathering, burst in all its fury, it 
was St. Andrew's Lodge which furnished the first great martyr to American liberty. 
Joseph Warren, Major General in the Continental Army, fell at Bunker Hill; and thus 
the lodge which had almost initiated the war gave up its Master in the battle which 
determined forever the supremacy of the American arms in Massachusetts. No other 
organization, civic or military, of its numbers, can be compared to St. Andrew's Lodge 
in the extent of its contributions to the American cause. The title "Cradle of Liberty," 
which has been applied to Faneuil Hall, rightfully belongs to the Green Dragon 
Tavern where gathered that little band of Masons who precipitated the American 


But there were other lodges which rendered valuable services in the war for 
independence. St. John's Provincial Grand Lodge at Boston, the older rival of St. 
Andrew's, furnished, in the person of its Deputy Grand Master Ridley, the engineer 
who planned the American fortifications at Bunker Hill (10). St. George's Lodge at 
Schnectady, N. Y., where many Revolutionary officers were made Masons, honored 
itself and the order by appropriating lodge funds for the support of the families of its 
members who had been taken prisoners (11). 

The intimate connection between Masonry and the patriotic movements is also shown 
by the growth of the order at this time. Master's Lodge alone, at Albany, received 
eighty-three new members during the historic year 1776 (12). 


But the most important service, after the Revolution was fairly launched, was 
rendered by the lodges formed in the Continental Army. There were ten of these (13), 
they were scattered among the camps from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and their 
growth was fostered and encouraged by the Commander-in-Chief. Washington 
himself attended their communications frequently— now as a visitor, meeting soldier 
brethren on the level (14) and now as Master sitting in the Oriental chair and bringing 
a candidate to Masonic light (15). It was in one of these lodges— American Union at 
Morristown, N. J.— that Lafayette is believed to have received his degrees (16). Lodge 
meetings were sometimes held in officers' tents (17) and sometimes, as in the case of 
the army encamped on the Hudson, in a permanent building specially erected for that 
purpose (18). And so active were these military Masons that a movement was started 
and several conventions held at Morristown with a view of establishing an American 
General Grand Lodge and making Washington Grand Master of the United States 

It is difficult to overestimate the strategic value of these army lodges. In the first place 
they promoted fellowship and solidarity in the ranks and sympathy between officers 
and men. In an army where the humblest private might sit in lodge on a level with the 
Commander-in-Chief there arose a spirit of self-sacrifice, mutual helpfulness and 
devotion— an esprit du corps— which no hireling soldiery could have. Where the 
distinctions or rank were lost in the ties of brotherhood, even the sufferings of that 
terrible winter at Valley Forge might be made endurable. 

Again, the prevalence of Masonry in the patriotic army insured secrecy in the plans of 
campaign and fidelity in their execution. Councils of war it is said, were frequently 
held in the lodge room where their deliberations were under the double seal of 
Masonry and patriotism. Generals could entrust their dispatches to couriers who were 
brother Masons and feel certain that nothing would be divulged. Thus our eighteenth 

century brethren formed the strong arm of the Continental service. It is claimed that 
nearly every American general was a Mason (20); certainly the leading ones were. 
Even the allies, Lafayette, the Frenchman, and Steuben (21) and Dekalb, the Germans, 
were members of the order. John Paul Jones, the founder of our navy, is known to 
have petitioned St. Bernard's Lodge at Kirkcudbright, Scotland, and probably was a 
member of it (22). Had the Freemasons been withdrawn from the Continental forces 
the Revolution must have been a dismal failure. 


But we must never forget that not all Freemasons of the Revolution were enrolled in 
the patriotic ranks— that they were numerous in the opposing army as well. Peter 
Ross, the historian of the Grand Lodge of New York, records as operating during the 
war in that state more than thirty British military lodges (22a). And to the fact that 
Masons were actively engaged on both sides is due some of the most gratifying 
incidents of the war. It has been said that the fairest flowers are those that bloom over 
the wall of party; but how much more must be said of those that bloom amid the strife 
of armies. 

Early in the war an event occurred that proved the strength of the Masonic tie. At the 
battle of the Cedars near Montreal, Col. John McKinstry, a Freemason, was captured 
by a band of Indians, allies of the British, whose chief was the celebrated Joseph 
Brand, also a Mason. In accordance with savage custom the prisoner was bound to a 
stake, fagots were piled around him, and the torch was about to be applied, when he 
gave to Chief Brand the sign which Masons know the world around— the grand hailing 
sign of distress. Indian though he was, the chief recognized the sign and ordered the 
torture to cease, and he and his captive became fast friends for the rest of their lives 

Again, in 1779, Joseph Burnam, a Mason who was held by the British as a prisoner of 
war in New York City, escaped and sought shelter in the Green Bay Tree Tavern, kept 
by another Mason named Hopkins. This tavern served as a meeting place for St. 

John's Lodge, which was composed mostly of British officers. The fugitive was 
secreted in the tavern garret which was just above the lodge room, and while he was 

reclining at night on the planks which formed the garret floor these gave way and 
precipitated the unfortunate guest into the center of the lodge in the very midst of its 
deliberations. The landlord, who was also the Tiler, was called upon for an 
explanation, and he, like a good Mason, made a clean breast of the whole affair. 
Whereupon the members of the lodge took up a contribution for the fugitive brother 
and, though his enemy in war, assisted him to reach the American lines across the 
Hudson River (24). 

Another instance of Masonic magnanimity occurred when the brave Baron DeKalb, 
our German ally, was slain at the battle of Camden in 1780. Although he had crossed 
the Atlantic to take part in a quarrel that was not his, against the British, he was buried 
by them with both Masonic and military honors (25). 

But perhaps the most significant illustration of the effect of Masonry on the war was 
the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. It is well known that the war was 
unpopular in many parts of Great Britain; but some of the subordinate Scottish 
Lodges, urged perhaps by government officials, had offered bounties for recruits to 
the army. When the Grand Lodge met it condemned this practice in unmistakable 
terms and in its instructions declared: "Masonry is an order of peace and it looks on 
all mankind to be at peace or at war with each other as subjects of contending 
countries." (26) 


These are illustrations which, thanks to Masonic teaching, reveal the foe in a better 
light than some are wont to think of him. Let us notice some expressions of the same 
spirit on the American side. 

At the battle of Princeton, 1776, Captain William Leslie, a Mason and son of the Earl 
of Leven, of the British Army, received a severe wound. He was taken in charge by 
Dr. Benjamin Rush, the celebrated surgeon who was then on Gen. Washington's staff, 
but was found to be "past all surgery." He was also buried with Masonic and military 

honors and this fact was announced by Col. Fitzgerald, Gen. Washington's aide, who 
entered the British Camp for that puipose under a flag of truce. Later Dr. Rush erected 
a monument, which may still be seen, at Brothel Leslie's grave "as a mark of esteem 
for his worth and respect for his noble family (27)." 

Lodge Unity was a military lodge in the 17th foot of the British army. In 1779, while 
the regiment was engaged in a skirmish, the constitution and jewels of the lodge were 
lost, but were returned to it by Col. Parsons of the American Union Lodge in the 
opposing army, with a letter reciting that: 

"As Masons we are disarmed of that resentment which stimulates to undistinguished 
desolation; and however our political sentiments may impel us in the public dispute, 
we are still brethren, and (our professional duty apart) ought to promote the happiness 
and advance the weal of each other." (25) 

An even more striking instance occurred when the Masonic chest of the 46th British 
infantry was captured by the Americans. Upon hearing of it, Gen. Washington ordered 
the chest and other articles of value returned to the owners accompanied by a guard of 
honor (29). The London Freemason's Magazine, commenting on the circumstances, 
from an English standpoint, says: 

"The surprise, the feelings of both officers and men may be imagined when they 
perceived the flag of truce that announced this elegant compliment from their noble 
opponent but still more noble brother. The guard of honor, their flutes playing a 
sacred march, the chest containing the constitution and implements of the craft borne 
aloft like another Ark of the Covenant, equally by Englishmen and Americans, who, 
lately engaged in the strife of war, now marched through the enfiladed ranks of the 
gallant regiment, that, with presented arms and colors, hailed the glorious act by 
cheers which the sentiment rendered sacred as the hallelujahs of an angel's song." 

Thus, above the storm and stress of armed strife, the soothing spirit of Masonic 
fellowship brooded like a bird of calm. If Masons precipitated and promoted the 

struggle they likewise mitigated its horrors and made possible the disclosure of the 
noblest traits in both American and Briton. It is the proudest heritage of Revolutionary 
Masons on both sides that the fraternal tie was one which not even the shock of arms 
could sever, and that amid the fiercest passions engendered by war they never quite 
forgot they were brethren. The record of this forms the fairest, brightest page in the 
history of the Revolution. 


When we turn from scenes of carnage to the more peaceful haunts of diplomat and 
statesman, during the Revolution, we find Freemasons there active and influential. It 
is a notable fact that the earliest suggestion of a Federal Union of the American 
colonies came from the first American Grand Master, Daniel Coxe, who in 1730 
received a deputation as Provincial Grand Master, made this suggestion in a work 
published as early as 1716, (30) and may therefore properly be called the first 
Federalist. It was this idea, adopted later and advocated by another eminent Mason 
and Provincial Grand Master, Benjamin Franklin, that grew into the union established 
by the constitution framed two generations later. The Declaration of Independence, it 
has been declared, (31) was the work of a Mason and many of the signers of that 
instrument are believed to have been members of our order (32). Freemasons were 
foremost in the Philadelphia Convention that framed the Federal Constitution and thus 
completed the work of the war. Besides Washington, the President, and Franklin, the 
Nestor, of that body, Hamilton, the genius of the Convention, was a Mason (33). 


But after all it may be that Masonry's most effective service to the American cause 
was rendered not at home but abroad. We know that the aid of France was a powerful, 
if not indispensable factor in the outcome of the war and that the sympathy of other 
Continental powers was advantageous. But why should these haughty monarchists of 
Europe look with favor upon the struggling republic of the New World ? Why did 
they not turn the same deaf ear as recently to the Boer envoys? There seems to have 
been some mysterious influence which changed their once hostile attitude into one of 

friendship; and recent investigations have led to the belief that this influence was the 
Masonic order (34). 

When Franklin, the Freemason, went to Paris to plead the American cause at the court 
of St. Germain, he naturally sought out the members of the fraternity. At the "Lodge 
of the Nine Muses," where he often attended, he met the intellect and statesmanship of 
the gay French capital, and it is believed that partly, at least, through these influences 
he was enabled to reach the ear of Louis XVI, to secure for us the French fleet and 
army, and thus to turn the tide of the war in favor of the American cause at its darkest 
hour. And thus the record of Masonic service in the Revolution is complete. There 
was no part of it in which Masons did not share and no important phase which would 
probably have succeeded but for them. 

But we fail to grasp the full significance of this noble record if we see in it only a 
source of pride and gratification. It is all this but much more; for every page imposes 
duty, obligation, responsibility. If it be true, as the record seems to teach, that 
American nationality was largely brought about by Masons, and that to this end the 
best energies of the craft were devoted in the trying times of the Revolution; if our 
predecessors gave "their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor" to start the 
republic on its glorious career, surely we can best prove true to the traditions of 
American Masonry by continuing the work which they began. Our advantages, if not 
our opportunities, are greater than theirs. The feeble fraternity of that day has become 
a powerful order now— from a few thousands it has grown to nearly two millions, 
carefully selected from the ranks of American citizenship. Its representatives are 
found in every official station (35) from Presidents (36) down. What possibilities for 
good government and high political ideals do these facts express; what a mighty 
leverage for civic progress and reform ! And this is the highest lesson taught us as a 
craft by Freemasons of the American Revolution: To place patriotism above 
partisanship, to preserve and extend the free institutions of the republic, to maintain 
the honor and dignity of the nation at home and abroad, and thus to realize the lofty 
ideals of our eighteenth century brethren, bequeathing them as a priceless heritage to 
generations yet unborn. 


(1) Record of Intolerance, 21 Am. Tyler- Key stone 549. See a reply in Vol. 22 of the 
same periodical, page 113. 

(2) Undertaken while preparing an address as Grand Orator before the Grand Lodge 
of Nebraska. 

(3) The earliest American Lodge is claimed to have been St. John's at Philadelphia, 
formed about 1730. See Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 233, et seq. 

(4) Bro. Ross, historian of the Grand Lodge, concludes (N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. 
1900) that there were not more than 250 members of New York Lodges during the 

(5) There seems every reason to admit what has been so often claimed by our 
historians, that the Masonic Lodges scattered throughout the country were as beacon 
lights of liberty, and that within our tiled doors the Revolution was fostered and 
strengthened." -- Ross, Historian of Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proceedings (1900), p. 315. 

(6) Goss, Life of Paul Revere, (1891), pp. 117, 121-2. 

(7) Centennial Memorial of the Lodge of St. Andrew, and the Massachusetts Grand 
Lodge (1870). 

(8) Goss, Life of Paul Revere, (1891), pp. 121-2; Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. 
IV. p. 347. 

(9) Id. p. 1 18 et seq. 

(10) Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 220. 

(11) Ross, Historian of Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proceedings (1900) p. 313. 

(12) Id. p. 315. 

(13) Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, pp. 222, 227. 

(14) Ross, Historian of Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proc. (1900) pp. 298, 305; Hayden, 
Washington and His Masonic Compeers; Capt. G. P. Brown in American Tyler, Dec. 
15, 1900; Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, p. 869. 

(15) Ross, Historian of Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proc. (1900) p. 308. 

(16) Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 224. 

(17) Id.; Ross, Historian Grand Lodge, N. Y. Proc. (1900) p. 308. 

(18) Capt. G. P. Brown in American Tyler. Dec. 15, 1900, says: "American Union 
Lodge was the banner lodge of the Continental Army. It had a very large membership, 
including several of Washington's foremost generals. In 1782, while the patriot host 
was encamped on the banks of the Hudson the attendance of that renowned lodge 
became so large that it was necessary to erect a building for its regular meetings. At a 
stated assembly of the lodge the question arose. General Washington was among the 
large number of visitors present and spoke at some length on the erection of a suitable 

building for Masonic purposes. And it was but a few days later when the noble- 
hearted commander-in-chief and eminent Freemason ordered the erection of a wooden 
structure. It was nearly sixty feet long and of the old style, one-story plan. It formed a 
complete oblong square. It had but one door, which was on the west end; its windows 
were fairly good size, square and over six feet from the ground, thus to keep off the 
cowan and eavesdropper which were so plenty in the Continental army at that time.* * 
* One of the many noted Masonic celebrations held within those sacred walls was the 
festival of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, A. L. 5782." 

(19) Gould, Vol. IV, pp. 224-5; Ross, pp. 304-5; Mackey, Encyclopedia of 
Freemasonry, p. 870. 

(20) Gould, Vol. IV, p. 224. G. P. Brown, in the article last above quoted, gives the 
following list of those who participated in the celebrations there mentioned: "Generals 
Washington, Gist, Putnam, Hamilton, Jackson, Armstrong, Parsons, Heath, 

Thompson, Patterson, Clinton, Dayton, Greaton, Brooks, Huntington; Colonels Cilley, 
Gridley, Burbeck, Nixon, Bradford, Clarke, Parke, Gray, Johnston, Sherman; Captains 
Marshall, Brown, Hait, Coit, Redfield, Lacey, Chapman, Ten Eyck; Lieutenants 
Heart, Hosmor, Hobart, Buxton, Russell, Barker, Sherman, Curtis, Heath, Bush, 

Spear, Cleveland, Palmer and a host of petty officers and privates. General John Stark, 
the hero of Bennington, was a Mason, initiated, according to Brown, in St. John's 
Lodge, No. 1, Portsmouth, N. H.; according to Ross, in Master's Lodge, Albany, N. Y. 

(21) Baron Steuben was a member of Trinity and an honorary member of Holland 
Lodge, both of New York. See N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900), p. 309. 

(22) See American Tyler, Vol. 15, p. 478 

(22a) See also Sachse, Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania, 1730-1800, especially 
the chapter on Unity Lodge No. 18, A. Y. M., abstracted in the New Age, XXIV, 539. 

(23) Stone, Life of Brant, (1838), Vol. I, pp. 18-33; Vol. II, p. 156; Gould, History of 
Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 221; Ross, N.Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900), 307. 

(24) Ross, N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900), 302, giving an extract from the printed 
history of St. John's Lodge; Mitchell, History of Freemasonry (1817), p. 501. 

(25) Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 222. 

(26) Lyon, History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, p. 83; Mackey, Encyclopedia of 
Freemasonry, p. 868. 

(27) Sachse, Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania, abstracted in New Age, XXIV, 

(28) Ross, 2, 98, 99. The letter is reprinted in the New Age (XXIV, 639), from 
Sachse, Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania. This Lodge Unity appears to have 
received successive warrants from the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland and 

(29) Ross, 299, 300. 

(30) The work was entitled "A Description of the English Province of Carolina." See 
Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, pp. 231-2; Ross, N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. 
(1900), pp. 295-6. 

(31) Capt. G. P. Brown, of Boston, in a private letter, furnished the information on 
which this statement is based 

(32) P.G.M. Baird in THE BUILDER (II, 351), mentions twenty-three. Cf. Gould, 
History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 220; N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900) p. 81; John 
Carson Smith in American Tyler- Keystone, XXIII, 300. 

(33) Ross, N. Y. Grand Lodge Proc. (1900), 305 

(34) The late Gen. John Carson Smith, of Illinois, to whom I am indebted for favors, 
conducted these investigations. 

(35) In a recent enumeration of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Legislatures 
more than one-third of the members were found to be Masons; in one branch the 
proportion was one-half. 1 5 Annals of American Academy 8 1 . 

(36) P.G.M. Baird in THE BUILDER (II, 351), presents a list of seventeen Presidents 
who were Masons, and mentions another (Grant) who may have taken the E. A. 
degree. This is more than two-thirds of the whole number. 




When "Mother" seems so very old and gray, when she can not exactly keep up with 
your "growing" disposition and the exuberance of animal spirit now so fair an average 

of your condition, you really turn your back upon her! You seem to prefer faster 
company! You have about forsaken the place whence you came and in a haze of 
expectation joined what to a student of Masonry would resemble an "aristocracy of 
ignorance." You have come to the "parting of the ways" between what the "nickle- 
plated" world designates "higher and lower" Masonry ! It seems an awful task now to 
contemplate the retention of the necessary knowledge to enable you to pass the Tyler 
at some "strange" Lodge. With Charity it may be said that it is hard, for you never 
knew much about it and should not be upbraided for something you are not altogether 
to blame for. It is this lack of knowing which is the cause of complaint and the fact 
that drives you to something easier— something that does not require knowledge to 
maintain a standing in, as long as the dues are paid. Yet individuals are not altogether 
to blame. The habit of "hurry" we acquire in business and social life urges us on. 
Many of us go into business almost as soon as we are able to read a market report. 
Other "frills" in the educational line are deemed unnecessary. We get to do "business" 
with everything. Our souls are risked ofttimes before we really know where we could 
find another, were such a thing suddenly lost to an opponent on the mart of trade. If 
we could but pause when we find ourselves going too fast! If we could but stoop to 
commune with an innermost self at such a moment! There are many of us who have 
not continued such practice through life. We have forgotten so much as "Blue Lodge 
practice" has by degrees faded farther and farther from the limit of memory. 

The Masonry of many men is all encompassed by the somewhat obscure significance 
of a "prominently" cherished "watch-charm," constantly carried as an aid to a less 
precious memory. I do not, by this means of public censuring, even expect to lure men 
into the practice of the science of faithfulness in daily life or avowed purpose, neither 
do I expect them to altogether forsake "Mammon." I can hardly stem the tide which 
seems to force men to a love of display— of even Masonry. I can not force them to 
attend their Lodges long enough to give them an understanding of all the symbolism 
of the ancient Craft. If these lagging souls could but feel the "pull" of the cabletow 
about them, as it binds each willing heart with a living touch, to the real practise of 
Faith, Hope and sweet Charity! I do not, in a day, expect to lead men from their 
world-idols. To cure them of the indolence that goes with borrowed thought and 
trailing action. 

Yet I have hope, for there are other days dawning and still other men, who believe in 
the "Blue Lodge" as a grand preparatory school, where Masonry can be studied, both 
to her advantage and with every recurring benefit to the student. Aye, the School of 
Applied Science where successful methods may be grafted into one's system by 

simple contact with honest practitioners, who if they fail today, will be ever patient in 
the trying, until Faith brings victory. 

This practice, in the fundaments of Masonry, will give renewed strength and an 
increase of intelligence, and will assist materially in the unfolding of the beauties of 
so-called higher degrees, both of Masonry and daily life, (and they should be one,) 
until new lanes of travel are opened toward the Light, impelling the splendid 
glorification of the visible body and soul of a fraternity which to date has given 
everything to her children, expecting only that which she gets in the "siftings" as the 
Mill grinds and grinds! 





LET us now briefly consider the great point of cleavage between Anglo-Saxon 
Masonry and the Masonry of the Grand Orient of France. This cleavage is based 
largely on the suspicion, if not on the definite charge that French Masonry is atheistic 
in its practices or in its tendencies. 

The Grand Orient of France was organized in Paris in 1736. Its constitution was of the 
model of Anderson's original Constitution 1723. The Grand Orient was recognized as 
legitimate Masonry by the Grand Lodge of England, and in fact by all legitimate 
Masons throughout the world. At that time in all Masonic Constitutions there was an 
absolute absence of dogma concerning in which all men agree; that is to be good men 

and true, men of God and religion, and Masons were bound only to that religion in 
which all men agree; that is to be good men and true, men of honor and honesty. The 
aim of the fraternity was purely humanitarian, its principles broad enough for men of 
every diverse opinion. The desire was simply to unite them, whatever their private 
religious beliefs, in uplift work for themselves and for humanity. 

Changes came first in England. About the middle of the eighteenth century, the so- 
called Landmarks regarding a declaration of belief in the G. A. of the U. and the 
placing of the Bible on the Altar, were adopted. Following this, for the greater part of 
a century the French Constitution adhered strictly to the original plan of the fraternity 
and did not contain that formula which has since, in some places, come to be regarded 
as essential. During this time neither the Grand Lodge of England nor any other 
recognized Grand Lodge took any exception to this notable omission. French Masons 
were considered neither "Godless" nor "Atheistic." As time went on, the French 
Constitution was changed to conform to that of the Grand Lodge of England. One 
writer has said this was co-incident with a closer political approach of the two nations, 
England and France. The constitution of the Grand Orient of France followed the 
English copy until shortly after the Franco Prussian war, when they reverted back to 
what it had been originally. Co-incident with this change, history records political 
estrangement between France and England which continued until recent years. When 
France reverted back to her original constitution, the Grand Lodge of England 
immediately afterwards severed relations with France, and generally speaking, 
Masonry of English speaking countries followed suit, claiming that the change made 
by the Grand Orient of France was Atheistic in tendency. 

Can French Masonry be said to be atheistical ? Atheism is the doctrine that there is no 
God. It is no longer considered reasonable for anyone to dogmatically assert that there 
is no God, and it is a question if such a being as an atheist exists today. 

There is no unbelief. 

Whoever plants a seed beneath the sod, 
And waits to see it push away the clod, 

He trusts in God. 

Whoever says, when clouds are in the sky, 

"Be patient, heart; light breaketh by-and-by," 
Trusts the Most High 

Whoever sees, 'neath winter's fields of snow, 
The silent harvest of the future grow, 

God's power must know. 

Whoever lies down on his couch to sleep, 
Content to lock each sense in slumber deep, 
Knows God will keep. 

Whoever says, "Tomorrow," "The Unknown," 
"The Future," trusts the Power alone 
He dares disown. 

The heart that looks on when the eyelids close, 
And dares to live when life has only woes, 
God's comfort knows 

There is no unbelief; 

And day by day, and night unconsciously, 
The heart lives by that faith the lips deny— 
God knoweth why! 

To be atheistic, French Masonry would need to have made the dogmatic assertion, 
"There is no God." This it has never done. It neither affirms nor denies anything 
relative to God. To suppose that French Masons deny the existence of God is to totally 
misunderstand them. They are as much averse to a dogmatic assertion of that kind as 
to one of the opposite kind. They are simply against a dogmatic assertion of any kind, 
as Masons, believing that Masonry is antidogmatic. Many, and possibly all, of their 
members would doubtless declare a belief in God at the proper time; but not as 
Masons in a Masonic Lodge. 

The French Masons found their attitude on the first edition of the Constitution, which 
obliges Masons only to that religion in which all men agree; that is, to be good and 
true, or men of honour and honesty. 

Let us briefly examine what ground there is for their stand, and see whether or not we 
are justified in condemning it. For this purpose I want to direct your attention to: 


Concerning God and Religion. 

A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the Moral Law, and if he rightly understands 
the Art he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in 
ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that 
country, or nation, whatever it was, yet it is now thought more expedient only to 
oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their peculiar opinions to 

themselves; that is to be good men and true men of Honour and Honesty by whatever 
Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes 
the centre of union and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons that 
must have remained at a perpetual distance. 

OUR OWN CONSTITUTION Concerning God and Religion. 

A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the Moral Law, and if he rightly understands 
the Art he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. He, of all men, 
should best understand that God seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the 
outward appearance, but God looketh to the heart! A Mason is therefore particularly 
bound never to act against the dictates of his conscience. Let a man's religion or mode 
of worship be what it may, he is not excluded from the Order, provided he believe in 
the Architect of Heaven and Earth, and practice the sacred duties of Morality. Masons 
unite with the virtuous of every persuasion, in the firm and pleasing bond of fraternal 
love; they are taught to view the errors of mankind with compassion, and to strive by 
the purity of their own conduct to demonstrate the superior excellence of the faith they 
may profess. Thus Masonry is the centre of union between good men and true, and the 
happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have 
remained at a perpetual distance. 


Freemasonry, an essentially philanthropical and progressive institution, has for its 
object the pursuit of truth, the study of morality, and the practice of solidarity; its 
efforts are directed to the material and moral improvement and the intellectual and 
social advancement of humanity. It has for its principles, mutual tolerance, respect for 
others and for one's self, and absolute liberty of conscience. Considering metaphysical 
conceptions as belonging exclusively to the individual judgment of its members, it 
refuses to accept any dogmatic affirmation. Its motto is: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. 

As to whether the Grand Orient of France has departed farther from the spirit and the 
letter of Anderson's original Constitution than we have is not open to much 
controversy. The change they made in 1877 rather reverted back to it than went 
farther away from it. To show the real misunderstanding that has occurred with regard 
to their position let me quote from the minutes of their General Conventions when the 
change was made. We can then understand what the real meaning of their action was. 

At the French Masonic Convention of 1876, on the proposal of a Lodge in the 
department of the Rhone, a Committee was appointed to consider the question of 
suppressing the second paragraph of the first article of the Constitution, concerning 
God and Religion. The Committee recommended that the proposition be postponed, 
and in recommending this the reporter of the Committee, Bro. Maricault, made the 
following statement: 

"Your Commission has recognized that bad faith alone could interpret the suppression 
demanded as a denial of the existence of God and the immortality of-the soul; human 
solidarity and freedom of conscience, which would be henceforth the exclusive basis 
of Freemasonry, imply quite as strongly belief in God and in an immortal soul as they 
do materialism, positivism, or any other philosophic doctrine." 

Postponement met with opposition. Bro. Andre Roussell, in advocating immediate 
action, among other statements made the following: 

"I am anxious to recognize with my brother, the reporter of the Commission, that 
Freemasonry is neither deistic, atheistic, or even positivist. In so far as it is an 
institution affirming and practicing human solidarity, it is a stranger to every religious 
dogma and to every religious Order. Its only principle is an absolute respect for 
freedom of conscience. In matters of faith it confirms nothing and it denies nothing. It 
respects in an equal degree all sincere convictions and beliefs. Thus the doors of our 
temples open to admit Catholics as well as Protestants, to admit the atheist as well as 
the deist, provided they are conscientious and honourable. After the debate in which 
we are at present taking part, no intelligent and honourable man will be able to 
seriously state that the Grand Orient of France has acted from a desire to banish from 
its Lodges belief in God and in the immortality of the soul, but, on the contrary, that in 

the name of absolute freedom of conscience it proclaims solemnly its respect for the 
convictions, teachings, and beliefs of our ancestors. We refrain, moreover, as much 
from denying as from affirming any dogma, in order that we may remain faithful to 
our principles and practice of human solidarity." 

Bro. Minot, in speaking on the same subject, said: "The Constitution of 1865 had 
realized a transitory progress. The work must be completed and purified by 
suppressing dogma and by rendering Masonry once again universal, by the 
proclamation of the principle of absolute freedom of conscience. Let no one be 
mistaken in this. It is not our aim to serve the interest of any philosophic conception in 
particular by our action in laying aside all distinction between doctrines. We have in 
view only one thing: Freedom for each and respect for all." 

The recommendation of the Committee prevailed, and action was postponed. In 1877, 
after a year's study by the Lodges, the change was adopted by an almost unanimous 
vote. The reporter of the Committee at the time said: "Who is not aware, at this 
moment, that in advocating this suppression no one among us understands himself as 
making a profession of atheism and materialism. In regard to this matter every 
misunderstanding must disappear from our minds, and, if in any Lodge there should 
remain any doubt in reference to this point, let them know that the Commission 
declares without reservation that by acceding to the wish of Lodge No. 9 it sets before 
it no other object than the proclamation of absolute liberty of conscience." 

When the proposition of the Committee had been adopted by the General Assembly, 
the President proposed, as an amendment, the insertion of these words: "Masonry 
excludes no one on account of his beliefs." Many regarded this as superfluous, but the 
President was insistent, in order that it might be clearly established in the eyes of all 
that Masonry is a neutral territory, in which all beliefs are admitted and treated with 
equal respect. The suggestion was adopted. 

It may be interesting to note that the original proposer that the Grand Orient of France 
should suppress the formula of the G. A. of the U. was a clergyman of the Protestant 
Church, and he stated, in justification, as follows: 

"In suppressing the formula respecting the G. A. of the U. we did not mean to replace 
it by a materialistic formula. None among us in proposing this suppression, thought of 
professing atheism or materialism, and we declare formally and emphatically that we 
had no other end in view than to proclaim absolute liberty of conscience." 

I have given the words and opinions of those responsible for the change in the 
Constitution so that there may be no room for misunderstandings. The Grand Orient 
of France, in making the change, has done no more than was done by the Government 
of Great Britain when she admitted members to seats in the House of Commons by 
allowing them to make an affirmation only when their convictions would not allow 
them to take a religious oath. The same custom prevails in our Courts of Justice. 

Their position will bear a little further examination to make clear its consistency. The 
story, as depicted by our Ritual, tells of a great loss and a life-long search for this 
something, which was lost. Masonry ends at the point when something else is 
substituted to temporarily make good that loss, and at the point where Masonry ends 
we are expected to begin the search. 

Various explanations have been given as to what this is that was lost, and which all 
Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, Christian and Pagan, are seeking for. The 
simplest and clearest explanation of this that was lost is that it was "the way back to 

"The way back to God." That is the door then to which Masonry leads. Cannot any of 
us go as far as that door with any, be he Agnostic, Deist, Buddhist, or any other, so 
long as he conforms to Anderson's original specifications, and is a good man and true, 
a man of honour and honesty? At the door, of course, we would separate, each to 
follow on his own way. But happily we can come back to the Lodge again and again 
for mutual encouragement, and for strength for a fresh start on our several paths, all of 
which are alike dark and obscure. 

It is not the function of Masonry to solve the riddle of life but to propound it and 
stimulate and encourage each of her initiates to search for his own solution. It takes 
each man so far, and there leaves him to find the answer for himself. By the very fact 
that Masonry itself gives no answer, it demonstrates clearly that the answer is not the 
same to every man. All this would seem to lead to freedom from dogma of all kind 
and justify France and Belgium in the stand they take. 

I do not wish to be understood to say that it is wrong for a Mason in Lodge to declare 
belief in God. But I would like to be able to accept as brethren any good men and true, 
men of honour and honesty, who are earnest searchers after the same truth as we are, 
even though they do not insist in Lodge on a declaration of belief in God. French 
Masons appear to be worthy men, doing a wonderful work for the cause of progress 
and enlightenment. 

Another so-called grievance against the Grand Orient of France is that they have taken 
the Bible off the altar. Many of us have imagined that because the Bible is one of the 
Great Lights according to our Ritual and usage that its place has been in Masonic 
Lodges from time immemorial. To most the presence of the Bible on the altar is in 
some way a landmark. Suiprising it may be, but the Bible was not even mentioned in 
Masonic Rituals until 1724, and it was in 1760 that Preston moved that it be made one 
of the Great Lights of Masonry. One might properly question whether Anglo-Saxon 
Masonry did not violate a landmark when she introduced religious dogmatism into 
Masonry in the middle of the Eighteenth Century. 

As Masons, we have before us the great object of the fraternal brotherhood of man. 
This will carry with it peace and prosperity. Is not the attainment of this worth the 
abolition of narrow intolerance ? Let us maintain, if we wish, our own principles 
concerning God and religion, but forever banish all dogmatism as to what others shall 
do in this connection, so long as they are earnestly working to attain the great 
principles of Masonry. Does not the situation demand the serious thought of every 
Master Mason? 

Should not Tolerance and Fraternity prevail ? France is holding out the brotherly hand 
to us, saying: "Let by-gones be by-gones, and let us look solely to the future." Should 

we as Masons hold at more than arm's length an institution which consistently devotes 
itself to those lofty aims and pursuits which we preach better than we practice? 

Even as the Arts, Sciences, and other phases of human activity have benefited by 
international discussion and concord, so also can Masonry benefit, if Masonry is to 
sustain in the future its splendid record, and attain the object she seeks, is not world- 
wide international co-operation necessary? How else can we attain a Universal 

With the present world crisis the time has come when Freemasonry should stand forth, 
free from all entrammelling influences, in its grand simplicity. Our Lodges should be 
centres of thought, influence and effort, holding no task alien that will advance the 
cause of righteousness on earth. To this end we could leam much by confraternity 
with such an organization as the Grand Orient of France. Is "Brotherly Love" to be 
nothing more than a label which we carry but which does not properly belong to the 
goods at all ? 

— o- 


Wildey E. Atchison, Iowa. 



Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts. 
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia. 

H. L. Haywood, Iowa. 

Joseph Barnett, California. 

John W. Barry, Iowa. 

Joe L. Carson, Virginia. 

Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia. 

Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia. 
H. D. Funk, Minnesota. 

F. B. Gault, Washington. 

Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia. 

T. W. Hugo, Minnesota. 

M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts. 

John G. Keplinger, Illinois. 

Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut. 

Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri. 

Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut. 

Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio. 

Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky. 

Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin. 

John Pickard, Missouri. 

C. M. Schenck, Colorado. 

Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois. 
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin. 
Oliver D. Street, Alabama. 

H. W. Ticknor, Maryland. 
Denman S. Wagstaff, California. 
S. W. Williams, Tennessee. 

(Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each 
writer who has contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for 
discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. 
Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the 
purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal 
opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility 
only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on the 
subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Question Box and Correspondence 

QUESTION NO. 9— Is it advisable for the Master of each Lodge to refer applications 
for initiation and membership to one standing committee on membership appointed 
annually? If so, shall this Committee be composed of past officers? If not, what other 
methods may a Lodge adopt in maintaining uniform standards of membership 

Standing Committee Works Well. 

As to the advisability of a Master referring applications to a standing committee 
appointed annually (based upon long usage in my own Lodge, Excelsior No. 369) — 
emphatically yes. Too much care can not be exercised in looking into the antecedents 
of those knocking at the Portals of Masonry if we are to maintain the same high 

standard of membership which has made our Institution unique among all others for 
Quality of Membership. A Committee honored with this considerable responsibility 
extending over a twelve month period must naturally feel the same sort of 
responsibility as the line officers of a Lodge and acquire added and valuable 
experience "each time out" upon a "character-quest." We have had such satisfactory 
results with our own Standing Committee in Excelsior that for some years now they 
have been annually reappointed and have yet to give us any cause for complaint. It is 
frequently their custom to ask "more time" for investigation and when one finally does 
pass the doors of Excelsior Lodge No. 369, it is evidence that such a one comes with a 
clean slate. Blackballing is an infrequent occurrence in our Lodge as the Committee 
generally recommends the prompt withdrawal of a petition which it can not report 
"full and favorable." Not one of our present Committee is a Past Officer but each of 
the three is a long time and faithful attendant upon Lodge, endeavoring to live up to 
the traditions bom of fifty-two years of existence. With considerable pride I can point 
to the membership of Excelsior as justifying in every minute particular the extreme 
advisability of having a Committee of this kind. We have never found it necessary to 
advertise our meetings in the daily press inasmuch as the interest and enthusiasm of 
our own members is sufficient to assure us a representative attendance at our meetings 
and such visitors as enter our portals from time to time of their own free will and 
accord generally indicate their approval of our old-fashioned ways and adherence to 
the ancient landmarks by coming again. Much of the credit for which is due to an 
experienced and careful Investigating Committee. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio. 

* * * Method of a San Lrancisco Master. I may only answer from a "California" 
standpoint, and as follows: 

"It is not only inadvisable, but without the law, both written and unwritten, to appoint 
a committee of three, who shall jointly hold office for a year; and as such pass upon 
all applications that may be made to the Lodge for membership within that time." 

Personally I believe this to be GOOD LAW and have this to say in its defense. In all 
notes on Masonic procedure of the past in America, where Masonry is or was 
Masonry, we have evidence that, unless the Lodge were so small as to preclude the 
possibility of appointing a new Committee each month and a separate one on each 
Candidate, the practice has been to do so. This is California law. May I not ask why it 
should not be so ? I may be here permitted to answer as follows: 

One of the principal Landmarks— indeed one of the comer stones used in upbuilding 
our structure is and always has been— secrecy. We aim to avoid letting it be known 
"who shall judge of our qualifications, as men fit to be Masons." We aim to protect 
our membership from the "venom" of a man found unworthy! Hence we keep the 
identity of our committee-men on petitions secret! We aim to appoint Committees that 
are unknown, even to the members of the Lodge, so that unbiased, free and impartial 
judgment, pro or con, may be rendered by such Committee. If a Lodge member has 
detrimental evidence, he can consult the Master, who is and should be the only 
"standing committeeman." Thirty days should be ample to disclose most "hidden" 
characteristics, where a committee has but the one object to work on; and if not long 
enough another thirty or even sixty days for further investigation may be allowed. 

More than one investigation in a month rather dulls the interest any man may have in 
such duty, and in consequence, such a disposition naturally reflects on the results the 
Lodge relies on so implicitly. Any "standing committee" would soon become "public 
property"— as from mouth to ear, the most inconsequential matters are rehearsed, even 
"on the square." 

To gain a uniform standard for membership and to ascertain the qualifications of a 
candidate, the committee should not be afraid or too politic to ask questions. As the 
Master of Fairmount Lodge No. 435 of San Francisco, I made use of a printed list of 
questions. In addition we have always been in the habit of notifying sister lodges. 
These forms are of course supplementary to a standard committee-man's notice. Now 
if you are not too "awfully polite" about getting the "ORIGINAL INFORMATION" 
your standard of qualification may be easily fixed and forever maintained. Denman S. 
Wagstaff, California. 

* * * 

Appoint Strangers. As to the advisability of the Master of each Lodge referring 
applications for initiation and membership to one standing committee on membership, 
annually, I would advise that it would not be fair to impose so much work on any one 

committee: nor could we expect a single committee to give so much time and labor, 

The puipose of a committee on petitions is to verify whether or not the postulant is 
worthy. It has become a custom to name, on such committees, the friends or neighbors 
of the petitioners, in the interest of convenience, time and labor. While this has its 
advantages, it has, also, its disadvantages. A man's friends are right sure to report 

A friend is one who sees your good qualities in preference to your bad ones. The 
petitioner is apt to resent rejection by "getting even" with the man he suspects of 
blackballing him. The neighbor or friend who served on the committee and visited 
that petitioner, thus may become an innocent mark. 

A glance at the Grievance and Appeals Reports which are to be found in so many 
Grand Lodge publications, is quite enough to convince even the shortest haired 
brother that we are taking in too many. The puipose of the Lodge and of the Order is 
to select quality in preference to quantity; and, with this in view, we would give it as 
our advice to put all strangers on such committees, i. e. strangers to the petitioner, and 
we also think the committee should be required to search the character of the 
petitioner from his cradle to the date of his petition. This may take time and may 
require labor, but it is worth the while. 

We have heard very good brethren, when defending their favorable report, say that 
they were unable to find anything against the petitioner. With this the writer has 
always disagreed, and has urged that we should find the petitioner to be good, upright, 
respected, worthy, held in high esteem, in fact an acquisition. One who would bring 
something to the Lodge in lieu of deriving character from it. 

We should not forget that a Masonic obligation is mutual; it pledges the entire 
fraternity to the initiate, as well as pledging him to the Fraternity. The Lodge, per se, 

is secondary, in this matter; the Lodge is responsible to the Grand Lodge for its 
mistakes. Geo. W. Baird, Washington, D. C. 

* * * 

Emphatic "No." Regarding the Committees of Investigation on the application of 
candidates for membership— First, should it be an annually appointed standing 
committee ? Emphatically NO; any such move tends to remove from the body and 
personnel of a Lodge the very important attitude of personal responsibility, to me one 
of the most dangerous states of mind into which any association can fall; it is hard 
enough now with so many Lodges having become mere work shops to find any 
incentive for the innocent bystander to attend. The whole matter of candidates is so 
closely a family matter that I would make it a first consideration, and then if there was 
any time left I would confer a degree. Every member should be made to feel his 
interest in the Lodge by every means possible, and it is not so important that you have 
had a scientific combing out of the character of a candidate as it is to have your 
members think they are doing something for the Lodge; if your Master can't handle 
the situation hurry it up so he will get into the glorious army of Past Masters and get 
somebody in his place with brains and executive ability in his head and Masonry in 
his heart. 

Second— If a standing committee should it be composed of Past Masters? Also by the 
same token, an emphatic NO; beyond all things NO. If there is anything else in the 
machinery of a Lodge which causes trouble more often than anything else it is the 
Past Master, or past officers; by their assumed wisdom and standing they tend to 
attract to themselves that power of ipse dixit, and instead of the Mason being a 
member of a Lodge he soon gets to be an echo and then a very faint one. The main 
thing is to magnify the member, the past officers have had their chance. 

Third— What should be done to maintain a standard of membership? It is a question if 
we want any uniform standard other than the Constitutions demand. By that I mean 
any hard and fast drawn detailed specifications, unnatural and unapplicable. Masonry 
is a progressive institution and candidates as well as members must keep up with the 
general development. 

I am a Masonic Progressive in every sense of the word where my good sense points 
out, but in this case of committees on applications I do not believe there is or can be 
any better method than the old way. Any variation tends to lack of interest in the 
second most important feature of our work, the getting of proper candidates. The first 
most important feature is to keep him when you get him and make something out of 
the raw material God has entrusted to your skill and human interest. The third 
important feature is to confer the degrees by which you teach him his Duty to that 
God and the neighbor and anything which interferes with these orders of importance 
in my opinion is wrong and tends to disintegration and decay. T. W. Hugo, 
Minnesota. * * * Lodges in Small Towns. 

My experience in Lodges of 250 or less, situated in towns of less than 20,000 
population, is to the effect that it is better to handle these matters by the appointment 
of a special committee of three members on each application. Whether in larger 
Lodges and in more populous centers it would be better to adopt the plan proposed is 
a matter which from my experience I would not be able to judge. Frank E. Noyes, 

* * * 

Give Duties to All Members. 

I would not advocate reference of applications for initiation for membership by the 
Master to a standing committee on membership for the reason that it places too much 
power in the hands of a few men. This does not impugn the motives of the few men, 
but I have noticed that where the same committees are constantly appointed by the 
Master the rest of the members seem inclined to let them do all the work. The best 
results for a live Lodge in my own experience as Master have been obtained by setting 
every member to some kind of work. If the committee is composed of officers 
entirely, this creates the impression that the rank and file do not amount to much in 
the consideration of the Master, so I would say that wherever possible different 
committees for every petition should be appointed so as to put the entire membership 

to work. They will be better acquainted with the persons who apply and there seems to 
be some spirit of brotherhood in this. J. W. Norwood, Kentucky. 

* * * 

No Universal Method Feasible. It is customary in this section to appoint a special 
committee of investigation on every petition presented. So much so is this the case 
that when the question was presented for my consideration I looked up the law 
expecting to find it so laid down. Strict search of the subordinate and Grand Lodge 
by-laws, however, revealed the fact that they were to be referred to a committee of 
investigation, no provision being made as to whether it be a standing committee or 

It would seem as though no general or universal rule could be made governing this. 
Local conditions would influence this largely. In the large city Lodges where a large 
number of applications are received, no one committee of three men could investigate 
and do it thoroughly on every petition presented. On the other hand, when a limited 
number of petitions are presented a standing committee of men well known to be 
thorough, conscientious and fair-minded might be of advantage. Should such a 
committee be raised I do not think it should arbitrarily be made up of Past Masters, 
but rather of men who are known to possess the proper qualifications as partially 
listed above and to which might be added spare time and willingness. 

Considering the subject from all points, however, I think the work will be more 
thoroughly done by carefully selected special committees than by a standing 
committee, there being danger of the standing committee growing stale and doing the 
work in a perfunctory manner. Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut. 

Use Brains— Not Blanks. 

If a Lodge is a small one, it might be practicable and perhaps would be desirable to 
have all applications for the degrees passed upon by a single committee. In case of a 
large Lodge it seems to me that such a course would not be practicable as the 
committee would be so over-burdened with work that its investigations would lack 

If such a committee exists it should be appointed by the Worshipful Master and great 
care should be taken in its selection. I see no reason why it should be limited to past 
officers although the presumption would be that past officers would afford the best 
material for such committee. 

The real safeguard of a Lodge consists in care with which the Committees on 
applications are appointed. Only too often this appointment is merely perfunctory and 
weak committees are appointed. 

This and many other matters upon which the wellbeing of the fraternity depends can 
be safeguarded only by care and diligence of officers and members. My personal 
conviction is that there is at present a regrettable tendency to attempt to provide for 
these matters by machinery. I do not believe that blanks can take tile place of brains or 
that machinery can take the place of the personal care and attention which must be 
given to our affairs if they are to be carefully conducted. Frederick W. Hamilton, 

* * * Experience of a Colorado Past Master. Some out of the ordinary conditions 
exist in the Colorado Lodge which I served as Master. The membership of this Lodge 
is divided into practically three classes, approximately one-half being composed of 
railroad men— officials, enginemen, trainmen, yardmen and shopmen, three-eighths of 
business and professional men living in the city, and one-eighth of farmers and stock- 
growers living in the country. 

It is the usual custom in this Lodge to appoint on the petition of an engineman a 
committee of his fellowworkers— for instance a fireman, or engineer, or both, and a 

conductor or brakeman, or a similar combination; on the petition of a shopman, two 
fellow- shopmen and usually a townsman not connected with the railroad. The 
townsman, a business man, would investigate the petitioner's standing among the 
business men of the city— making inquiries as to whether or not he was prompt in 
meeting his bills, etc., an important item in railroad towns having a large floating 
population. On the petition of an official of the railroad would be appointed railroad 
men of various occupations— possibly a train-dispatcher, a shopman and a conductor, 
fireman, engineer or brakeman. 

The jurisdiction of this Lodge extends forty-one miles in a southwesterly direction, 
and embraces a large farming and cattle -raising country. Many farmers and cattle-men 
in this territory have joined the Lodge. On a petition of one of these would be 
appointed three of his neighbors. 

Railroad men who are out on their runs nearly half of the time could not efficiently 
investigate a petitioner living on a ranch forty miles from town, nor would a 
committee composed of these ranchmen be expected to successfully investigate a 
trainman or engineman. 

A fireman, conductor and brakeman composing a committee on an engineer's petition 
would have the opportunity to investigate the petitioner's actions and conduct at the 
distant railroad terminal where nearly half his time is spent in lay-overs. Also his 
fellowworkers on a shopman's petition could make a more thorough and satisfactory 
investigation than could a committee of business men or farmers. 

In communities where the above conditions obtain it is obvious that one standing 
investigating committee would not be as efficient as the class committees mentioned, 
even if such a standing committee could be found who would be willing and able to 
act as such. Out of the entire membership of the Lodge, which numbers some 250, 1 
doubt if there could be selected three members who would have the time to act on 
such a committee. Wildey E. Atchison, Iowa. 

* * * 

No Committees in Virginia. 

Virginia allows no Committee on petitions for initiation or applications for 
membership. Our reason for this is our unwillingness to trust their perfunctory reports 
and our consciousness that the members would trust too much to those reports. Is not 
this all too true, where the system prevails? We require the avouchers to satisfy the 
Lodge, from personal knowledge of the fitness of the candidate, and some of the 
officers and members are sure to make some investigations "on their own." 

The above answers your whole block of questions and my long Masonic experience 
convinces me that no other plan would work so well. Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia. 

* * * 

Experience in Ireland. 

On the question before the Fraternal Forum this month a Lodge to which I belonged in 
Ireland had the following fixed regulation: 

All names proposed for membership were passed on by a Committee of four, the W. 
M., Secretary, and two members appointed by the popular voice of the Lodge. The W. 
M. conveyed to the proposer and seconder the finding of the Committee. If the 
"Tongue of Good Report" had not been heard in favor of the candidate the name was 
usually withdrawn. 

If they insisted on going to ballot, the W. M. read the Report of the Committee before 
"circulating the Ballot," and the Lodge usually "governed itself accordingly." 

I never knew the Lodge to make a mistake and the membership was of the best 
Masonic material. J. L. Carson, Virginia. 

* * * 

Avoid Clannishness. 

Theoretically, the idea is a good one, a standing committee of high grade men 
working together will, no doubt, maintain a high physical, mental and moral standard 
in candidates reported on favorably. 

But the great objection to this plan is that it may lead to clannishness. It also takes 
away the feeling of responsibility all members should feel in the fitness of candidates 
seeking admission. 

This responsibility is felt more by the membership if separate committees are 
appointed by the Master to look up each aspirant for Masonic initiation. 

I would suggest, however, that each Lodge prepare a code for the guidance of its 
investigating committees. I would also require that each member of each investigating 
committee personally see each candidate and assure himself of his fitness. Then the 
three investigators and Master should confer on each aspirant— not simply make and 
receive a brief report as is so commonly done now just before the ballot is taken. John 
G. Keplinger, Illinois. 


Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your 
friends are dead, but fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving and cheering 
words while their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled by them. 
The kind things you will say after they are gone, say before they go. The flowers you 
mean to send for their coffins, bestow them now, and so brighten and sweeten their 
homes before they leave them. 

If my friends have alabaster boxes laid away full of fragrant perfumes of sympathy 
and affection, which they intend to break over my dead body, I would rather they 
would bring them now in many weary and troubled hours and open them that I may be 
refreshed and cheered while I need them and can enjoy them. I would rather have a 
plain coffin without flowers and a funeral without an eulogy than a life without the 
sweetness of love and sympathy. Let us leam to anoint our friends beforehand for 
their burial. 

Post-mortem kindness cannot cheer the burdened spirit. Flowers on the casket spread 
no fragrance backward over the weary way over which the loved ones have traveled. 
—John Lloyd Thomas, 33d. 

— o- 



The warrant for the existence of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry is 
found in a number of documents which are now in the possession of the Supreme 
Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, and it is from 
these that it is possible to gather up the threads which go to form the history of one of 
the greatest organisations of Masonry. 

The beginning of the Scottish Rite is from a Templar source, so we cannot do better 
than go back to the period after the Crusades, when the defenders of the Cross were 
returning from their wars in the Holy Land. Although primarily driven forward by 
religious motives, and eager to save the land of Palestine from the hands of the 
Saracen, there is no doubt that many of these cavaliers were also out to capture what 
worldly property they could from the hated Turk, with the result that as soon as the 
wars were finished they found themselves rich and settled down to a life of ease on 
the plains of central and southern Europe. The wealth and power of the Order soon 
aroused the avarice and envy of both the Church and the State with the result that a 
number of persecutions were deliberately organised with the object of overthrowing 
the Order and forfeiting its possessions. Many charges, the chief of which was 
idolatry, were trumped up against the Knights with the object of bringing them to trial. 
The culmination of these persecutions occurred in Paris in the year 1314, when 
Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Order, was publicly burned to death. This 
caused a general dispersion of the Order and there is a great deal of doubt as to what 
followed. There are a number of versions which might almost be called legends of the 
subsequent history, the majority of which are probably fictitious, but it is an 
undoubted fact that after this time the Templars flourished and remained free from 
persecution in Scotland where they are said to have united with the Freemasons. This 
was the beginning of all High Grade and Scottish Masonry. 

A number of Scottish Templars entered Robert Bruce's army and after the battle of 
Bannockburn were formed into the Royal Order of Scotland which consisted and still 
does consist of two degrees, the Order of Heredom and the Knighthood of the Rosy 

All High Grade Masonry claims the Order of the Temple as its origin and this was the 
basis of a system founded at Lyons in France in the year 1743. Six degrees were 

recognised of which the first three or Craft degrees were not worked; the remaining 
degrees were the fourth degree or the Knight of the Eagle, the forerunner of our 
present eighteenth degree of Sovereign Prince Rose Croix, the fifth degree entitled 
Illustrious Knight or Templar, and the sixth and last degree of Sublime Illustrious 
Knight. From this the titles of Illustrious and Sublime used so freely in the Scottish 
Rite of today evidently originated. The system which I have just quoted also shows 
the connection between the Masonic grades of Rose Croix and Knight Templar, a 
connection which is obvious from many of the symbols. 

In 1747, Charles Edward Stuart, the Pretender, while in exile in France is said to have 
instituted a Chapter of Rose Croix Masons at Arras to which he communicated the 
Scottish Masonry which he had brought from his own country. 

Another interesting step in the history of these degrees is the Baldwyn Encampment 
of Knights Templar at Bristol, England, which was working shortly after this time and 
conferred the following degrees: 

Id Entered Apprentice. 

2d Fellow Craft. 

3d Master Mason. 

4d Royal Arch. 

5d Knight Templar and Knights of Malta. 
6d Rose Croix. 

7d Knight Kadosh (the present 30d). 

The origin of this encampment is unknown. 

In 1754 the Chevalier de Bonneville established a Chapter of high degrees in Paris at 
the College of Jesuits of Clermont. This was called the Chapter of Clermont and at 
first worked only the three degrees which were conferred at Lyons eleven years 
before. The system was, however, soon expanded and renamed the Rite of Perfection 
or Rite of Heredom of twenty five degrees. This system included all our present 
degrees from the first to the twenty- second. The 23d of the Rite was our present 28d 
and was then called the degree of Knights Princes Adepts. The degree of Knight 
Kadosh (30d) was the twenty-fourth degree and the system was completed by the 
twenty- fifth degree now known to us as the thirty-second degree of Sublime Prince of 
the Royal Secret. Throughout this system the theory was maintained that Freemasonry 
had its origin in the Order of the Knights Templar. 

The derivation of the word Heredom is unknown but it appears to have come from 
Scotland and it is probable that this name and several of the Scottish factors were 
taken from Scotland to France by the Stuarts in their exile. 

Four years after the formation of the Chapter of Clermont, that is to say, in 1758, a 
new body was organised in Paris which absorbed the Clermont Chapter. This was 
called the Council of Emperors of the East and West and governed the twenty- five 
degrees of the Rite of Perfection. The Emperors governed what was entitled the Holy 
Empire which title still survives in our present Supreme Councils, whose Secretary is 
called the Secretary General H. E. (in some countries Grand Secretary General H. E.) 

We have copies of the Statutes of the Sovereign Grand Council at this time and it 
appears that there were headquarters at Berlin, Paris and Bordeaux. 

There were then: 

Lodges of Perfection-- Id to 14d. 
Councils of Knights of the East— 15d. 

Councils of Princes of Jerusalem— 16d. 

Chapters of Princes Rose Croix— 17d to 18d. 
Consistories of S.R.P.S.— 19d to 25d. 

At this time any member of the 15d could confer the lower degrees of the Rite on 
Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons, and any member of the Rose 
Croix degree could make Masons in a district where there was no Symbolic Lodge. 

In the year 1761, Stephen Morin, who was leaving France for the West Indies, was 
given a warrant by the Council of Emperors of the East and West to propagate the 
Rite in America. He made several Inspectors General in North America, one of whom, 
M. Hayes, had power to appoint others and made Isaac Da Costa Deputy Inspector 
General for South Carolina, who, in 1783, established a Grand Lodge of Perfection at 

At this time the Rite still consisted of twenty- five degrees but soon afterwards 
Frederick the Great became Sovereign Grand Commander in Germany and he again 
reorganised the system. 

German symbols, such as the Teutonic Cross and the Eagle were introduced into 
many of the degrees and seven new degrees were added making a total of thirty-two 
degrees. The regulations of Frederick the Great of 1786 provided for the government 
of the Order by a Supreme Council who were to be of the thirty third degree of 
Sovereign Grand Inspector General. 

In 1801, the Grand Lodge of Perfection at Charleston adopted the new continental 
system of thirty-three degrees and a Supreme Council was formed, this being the 
Mother Supreme Council of the world. The title of Ancient and Accepted Scottish 
Rite was then taken. From this Supreme Council, a Council for France was 
established in 1804 and one for Italy in 1805. In 1813, the Supreme Council for the 

Northern Jurisdiction of the United States was formed and in 1 845 the Supreme 
Council for England, from which originated, in 1874, the Supreme Council for 

There are now Supreme Councils in almost every civilised country, and the Rite has 
spread to a tremendous extent. There are, however, different systems for conferring 
the degrees in different countries. In the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States 
there are Lodges of Perfection 14d, Rose Croix Chapters 18d, Councils of Knights 
Kadosh 30d, and Consistories of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret 32d; in the 
Northern Jurisdiction, there are also Councils of Princes of Jerusalem 1 6d, but 
Councils of Knights Kadosh 30d are not held. In Canada, there are Lodges of 
Perfection 14d and Rose Croix Chapters 18d; also one Consistory of the thirty-second 
degree for each Province. 

In England, Scotland and Ireland, the system is very different; there are Rose Croix 
Chapters which communicate the degrees from the 4d to the 17d in a short form and 
the 1 8d of Sovereign Prince Rose Croix in full. There are no Consistories in these 
countries and all degrees above the 18d are conferred only by the Supreme Council. 

In the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of the United States and in Canada there 
are thirty- three active members of the Supreme Council and a number of honorary 
members, all of whom are of the thirty third degree. 

In England there are only nine members of the Supreme Council and the total number 
of members of the thirty-third degree is limited to thirty-three. Also, under this 
jurisdiction the numbers are limited in all the high degrees. Candidates for the 30d 
must have been members of the Rite for at least three years and installed Most Wise 
Sovereign of a Rose Croix Chapter. The number of members of the 3 Id is limited to 
99, and of the 32d to 63, the vacancies being filled by selection by the Supreme 
Council. The Scottish and Irish arrangements are very similar to the English in this 
matter. The English Supreme Council also dropped the title "Scottish" some years ago 
and the Rite is now known in that country as the "Ancient and Accepted Rite." 

In conclusion, I should point out that there is a great deal of doubt as to the origin and 
early history of these degrees; during the eighteenth century a great number of so- 
called High Grades sprung up all over Europe and the origin of most of them is very 
obscure. Undoubtedly, there is a connection between this Rite and the Order of the 
Temple, and it is probable that the House of Stuart, the Pretenders to the throne of 
England were a factor in the case. 

The true value of this Rite, as of any other, is to be found in what it gives to its 
members; however obscure the history may be, we have in the Ancient and Accepted 
Rite, a system of degrees whose teaching is of the most sublime nature to be found in 
the Masonic Order. 

— o — 


GOD grant me understanding, -- 

That I may put away myself and think of others; 

That those with whom I daily work may be my brothers, 
And to them from my heart show true affection. 

Thus may I bring my life to real perfection. 

GOD grant me understanding. 

GOD give me understanding;— 

That I may feel the sorrows others feel when most they grieve 
That to my lips may come the cheery work they would receive; 

That I may give to some one hope to work out their new plan; 
That I may read my dear friends' thoughts if I their faces scan. 
GOD grant me understanding. 

GOD give me understanding;— 

To tune my soul in sympathy with others' joy, 

To live a life of Charity without alloy; 

To know how life is seen by those about me 
And help them know they cannot live without Thee. 

GOD give me understanding. 

E. E. M. 



Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg 




THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: 

THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia In another paragraph is explained how 
the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may 
be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course 
with the paper by Brother Clegg. 


The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is 
shown below: 

Division I. Ceremonial Masonry 

A. The Work of a Lodge 

B. The Lodge and the Candidate 

C. First Steps. 

D. Second Steps 

E. Third Steps 

Division II. Symbolical Masonry. 

A. Clothing. 

B. Working Tools 

C. Furniture. 

D. Architecture. 

E. Geometry. 

F. Signs. 

G. Words. 

H. Grips. 

Division III. Philosophical Masonry. 

A. Foundations 

B. Virtues. 

C. Ethics. 

D. Religious Aspect. 

E. The Quest. 

F. Mysticism. 

G. The Secret Doctrine. 

IV. Legislative Masonry. 

A. The Grand Lodge. 

1 . Ancient Constitutions 

2. Codes of Law. 

3. Grand Lodge Practices. 

4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges. 

5. Official Duties and Prerogatives. 

B. The Constituent Lodge. 

1. Organization. 

2. Qualifications of Candidates. 

3. Initiation, Passing and Raising. 

4. Visitation. 

5. Change of Membership. 

Division V. Historical Masonry. 

A. The Mysteries— Earliest Masonic Light. 

B. Studies of Rites— Masonry in the Making 

C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics 

D. National Masonry 

E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study 

F. Feminine Masonry. 

G. Masonic Alphabets 

H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft. 

I. Biographical Masonry. 

J. Philological Masonry— Study of Significant Words. 


Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Clegg, who is following the 
foregoing outline. We are now in " Lirst Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be 
twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. On page two, preceding each 
installment, will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" and a list of questions to be 
used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out 
every point touched upon in the paper. 

Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles 
from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by 
Brother Clegg in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental 
papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of 
references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the 
attention of many of our members will thus be presented. 

The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle 
Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the 
Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance 
of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research 
Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over 
and studied the installment in THE BUILDER. 


Immediately preceding each of Brother Clegg's monthly papers in the Correspondence 
Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's 
Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon 

many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. 
They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile 
papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the 
articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The 
latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile 
original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any 
alterations or additions. 


The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members 
The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the 
Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the 
Lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be given to the study 

After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master 
should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This 
Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All 
members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be 
prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother 
Clegg's paper. 


1. Reading of the first section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers 

(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should 
make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion 

is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be 
distributed among the members for this puipose at the opening of the study period.) 

2. Discussion of the above. 

3. The subsequent sections of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers 
should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner. 

4. Question Box. 


Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these 
meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the 
questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to 
facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper. If at 
the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN 
TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to 
supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when 
called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please 
remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles 
away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it 
at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society. 


The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge 
study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and 
communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not 

entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the 
command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times. 


From the following questions the Committee should select, some time prior to the 
evening of the study meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to use at 
their meeting which will bring out the points in the following paper which they desire 
to discuss. Even were but five minutes devoted to the discussion of each of the 
questions given it will be seen that it would be impossible to discuss all of them in ten 
or twelve hours. The wide variety of questions here given will afford individual 
Committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit their own fancies and also 
furnish additional material for a second study meeting each month if desired by the 

In conducting the study periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the discussions 
closely to the text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray 
onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning from 
the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a note of the 
particular point or phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it 
up when the Question Box period is opened. 


1. What does "circumambulation" mean ? What illustrations does Brother Clegg give 
of it? Can you name other very ancient rites still in use ? Why do they appeal to men ? 
Do you see in any of the ceremonies of this kind mentioned by Brother Clegg 
anything which parallels the Masonic ceremony of circumambulation ? If so, what is 
it, and to what may it be likened ? 

2. What is sought in this ceremony ? How did primitive man hope to control the 
forces of nature ? Have we learned any better way than by acting in harmony with 
them? How do we control the forces of steam, of electricity, of water, of power, etc. ? 
Why did primitive man expect to secure favors from the gods by sacrificing to them? 

3. How did this idea of sacrifice tend to develop a ritual ? From what probable source 
did the rite of circumambulation as we know it, develop ? Why do the sun and stars 
still appear as symbols in religious systems? Can you give other examples of the 
tendency of mankind to imitate the heavenly bodies ? 

4. Who was anciently considered to be the god of the Sea / of War? of the Sun? the 
goddess of the chase? Can you name other Greek and Roman gods and goddesses? 
Imitation of the heavenly bodies eventually came to be told as the story of the actual 
experience of the gods and goddesses; how did this finally lead to dramatization of 
these stories ? Can you give other illustrations of common myths in which this 
tendency is shown to be the foundation of various superstitions ? 

5. Why does the candidate meet obstructions? What are the obstructions that you meet 
from day to day ? Does your experience in Masonry help you to overcome them? 
What obstructions has Masonry met in the past ? What obstructions does it meet now? 
Co-operation means to "work together, or in harmony"; how can we co-operate to 
enable Masonry to do its work in the world ? Are you a "co-operator" in the Lodge, or 
a "knocker" ? Which does the Lodge the most good ? Which does you the most good? 

6. Why does the Lodge ask you if it is of your "own free will and accord" so often? 
Why does not Masonry force itself upon you? Do religion, or culture, or knowledge 
force themselves upon you? What does it mean to have a "free will"? How can an 
enslaved will be freed? How can a weak will be strengthened? Is not this the idea of 
"co-operation with the forces of nature" taught by the rites we are now studying ? 

How does Masonry free our wills from the slavery of passion ignorance, prejudice and 


The articles by Brother Clegg and Brother Haywood in this issue of the 
Correspondence Circle Bulletin comprise practically everything we are able to 
discover on the subject of "Circumambulation", with the exception of the following 

THE BUILDER: Vol. Ill— "What An Entered Apprentice Ought To Know," by Bro. 
Hal Riviere, April C. C B., p. 6. 

Mackey's Encyclopedia: Circumambulation, Rite of, p. 162. 


CIRCUMAMBULATION means nothing more as a word than to walk around. The 
sailor trudging around the windlass, the faithful quadruped plodding around the 
horsepower machine, the children in their various games holding hands in circles and 
tripping around joyously, are all walking around but this is not all there is to 

True, the children may be performing a mere play, as in the dance of the Maypole, a 
veritable fragment of an ancient festival, the ceremonial ushering in the month of 
flowers, the ceremony then taking on a religious aspect and exhibiting a thankfulness 
at the departure of darkness and winter and at the arrival of spring with its opening 
buds and beautiful blossoms. 

Among the Romans there was a festival or holiday devoted to the god Terminalia. He 
was especially connected with the boundary marks and limits of property or 
landmarks. On the day assigned to his praise there were visits to the various 
landmarks and young and old improved their acquaintance with the very important 
means whereby property owners are enabled to preserve their respective land rights 
and titles. 

Up to recent times the custom has prevailed. Shorn of its early showy tribute to the 
pagan god, something curious and quaint still survived. Not long ago in England, for 
example, it was the custom on one day in the year for children to be conducted around 
the several landmarks of the parishes and towns. These were explained and pointed 
out as impressively as was possible. In fact, it was the custom for the schoolmasters to 
soundly flog a boy at every landmark ! With this training of the memories of many 
boys the boundaries were long and accurately remembered! 

When the customs and ceremonies here mentioned were fresh in the minds of men, 
our own allusions to the landmarks in Masonry had a significance to which we 
modem members of the Craft are almost strangers. Something yet remains to us of 
course in the march around at the dedication and consecration of a new Lodge, a very 
appropriate ceremony indeed to all the observing and especially so to the student of 
symbolism, indeed much more than a mere suggestion of the scope of the Lodge in 
the sweeping circle of its action for the future. 

The blessing of the boundaries is a familiar ceremonial in the Roman Catholic church. 
The officiating priest passes around to all the landmarks of the site for the new church, 
stopping at each, and with solemn phrase offers up a fervent plea at every station. 

Shakespeare has the witches in Act 4, Scene 1, of "Macbeth," dancing around the 
caldron in which simmer and boil the horrible ingredients of magical evil. Later they 
caused several spirits to rise from the earth and advise the misled Thane of Cawder. 
Compare with this the account of the witch of Endor in your Bible, the first book of 
Samuel, chapter 28, and the advice of Samuel tendered to Saul in similarly 
supernatural man 


Granted, then, the frequent use of circumambulation in ancient and modern times, 
among the wise and the ignorant, to what may it be attributed? Be it the cultured 
mystic with his circles and ovals plain or serpentlike, embellished or simple, or the 
wild riot of the savage around his totem pole or around the tortured victim at the 
stake, there is still the supernatural objective being sought. There is thus a seeking 
after more than ordinary means. To what then will man appeal and how will he act? 
Obviously he will seek the aid of the Great Architect of the Universe and in motion of 
body will conform as fully and thoroughly as is possible to emotion of mind, suiting 
the action of the word. 

Now the courses of nature are marked out daily and yearly by repetition. Flowing 
rivers and recurring rains, the light and warmth of the sun, the glory of the stars, the 
ever restless sea, and the changing winds are seldom quite the same in viewpoint yet 
always similarly to be seen. Various aspects are favorable, others affrighting. The 
waters of the sea engulf the struggling swimmer from the shipwreck, the rain may 
flood or parch the husbandman in farming, the lightning strikes down the unwary 
wayfarer, the sun sends its beneficent rays upon the fertile earth and the fields ripen 
into lusty harvest, and in all these agencies the early mind as well as the latest of 
scientific thinkers see powers to be controlled. 

To us as Freemasons, there is the glory of God in all things great and small; to the 
savage mind all things were governed by gods great and small. He saw only the same 
way of controlling these powers as the one by which he was himself influenced. Food 
appealed to him, therefore a sacrifice of flesh or fruit became the medium of securing 
supernatural favor. 


In the sacrificial offering itself there soon came about a rigidly prescribed method, this 
set rule of operations was the ritualistic ceremony, such as it was, crude and doubtless 

To keep the ceremony intact of form, uniform of action and language, we had in the 
primitive tribes a special class of officials, the Levites of Israel, the medicine men of 
the aborigines of the United States, the priesthood of many cults and faiths and 
peoples recent and remote. These were the chosen few, ministering factors for the 

Of such were the priests of the Mithras, that great cult of the early era of Christendom, 
that faith to which so clear a thinker as Renan assigned so promising a place as a 
competitor of Christianity, unsuccessful as it was in the finishing of the race. 

To Freemasons the Mithraic ritual pertains so much to the same symbolism we use 
that the similarity becomes very interesting. In fact the comparison is far more than a 
coincidence. Probably we inherit through hundreds of years, while philosophy moral 
and natural has been taught by this simple address to surrounding forces and objects, a 
rich legacy from the old religion of Mithras with its references to the East and to the 
sun and other celestial bodies. 

The signs of the Zodiac, the names of the stars, the allusions to Phoebus driving the 
glowing chariot of the sun, and all the other reminders left to us by the mythology, the 
study of the myths, of the pioneer peoples of the earth, show how close and dependent 
was the confidence of the rude unschooled mind upon the facts that were linked with 
his observation of the heavenly bodies. He besought the supernatural by sacrifice and 
by invitation, worship of such movements as seemed most typical of the superior 
force and forces. His dances around the sacrificial altar were typical of the apparent 
motion of sun and moon and stars. Nay, today, the wild men of the West dress 
themselves in skins and imitate the animal's walk and stealth and spring before they 
go forth to the hunt. Girls in garlands of flowers in May's month of spring beauty are 
themselves showing how easily this universal trait of humanity grows and flourishes 
into prominence at the slightest provocation. 

Down to our own times comes the suggestive saying, "the stars in their courses fought 
against Sizera." Truly, the courses and paths of nature's movements have in all 
seasons of the world's story impressed serious lessons on the mind of man. Of such 
was bom the art of astrology, the foremnner of scientific astronomy. 


To imitate the action of nature leads readily to a representation of the doing of the 
fabled personages to whom the elements are dedicated. The ocean is as tmly 
Neptune's as is war belonging to Mars, the arts of Apollo, the chase to Diana, and the 
Sun to Zeus or Jove. Their loves and labors, their jealousies and bickerings, as 
portrayed by the earliest authors like Homer and continued by innumerable writers 
and singers and storytellers through the ages were then as now recited dramatically, 
first as a tale and then in a play form befitting the stage. 

Of such were the pioneer initiations, the ancient mysteries, and the moralities of 
medieval days, all growing as the branches from the ceremonies built upon the rite of 
circumambulation and its causes and controls. 


In going around the celestial courses there are obstructions at the stages or stations 
corresponding to the principal divisions of the compass, that sure guide to all travelers 
on this earthly sphere. We are indeed free to go but we are not free from the 
consequences of our going. Inspection we must pass and from all angles, not evading 
scrutiny because of personal position nor missing complete examination by reason of 
but part being seen instead of the whole. 


What then is the teaching of this portion of our rite to which your attention has been 
invited? There are several answers. We need not dogmatize nor travel afar for light. 
Only the obvious lesson need be learned. 

Nature and we are in touch. The more intimate we move in harmony with nature's 
forces the better for our health of mind and body. Reflect upon this union of ourselves 
and our surroundings. Think of the condition of him who is out of "gear" with things, 
out of "touch" with affairs, and thereby out of the "running." 

Environment does indeed count for very much in our daily lives. Get in tune. Keep the 
feet moving naturally within that circle beyond which no real Mason should step and 
where so circumscribed he can not materially err. 


It was the ancient custom to use Circumambulation during the performance of 
religious ceremonies. In Greece, while the sacrifice was in the act of consuming, the 
priests and people walked in procession round the altar thrice, singing the sacred 
hymn, which was divided into three parts, the Strophe, the Antistrophe, and the 
Epode. While the first part was chanted, they circumambulated in a direction from 
east to west, emblematical of the apparent motion of the heavenly bodies; at the 
commencement of the second part, they changed their course, and proceeded from 
west to east, pointing out their real motion; and, during the performance of the Epode, 
they remained stationary round the altar— a symbol of the stability of the earth, waiting 
for some propitious omen which might announce the divine acceptance of the 

In Britain, the devotional exercises of the insular sanctuary were conducted on a 
similar principle. Ceremonial processions moved round it, regulated by the mystical 
numbers, and observing the course of the Sun; sometimes moving slowly and with 

solemn gravity, chanting the sacred hymn to Hu; at others, the devotees advanced 
with great rapidity, using impassioned gestures, and saluting each other with secret 
signs. This was termed "the mystical dance of the Druids." The circular movement 
was intended to symbolize the motion of the earth, and to give an idea of God's 
immensity which fills the universe. —"Signs and Symbols," Oliver. 


By permission of Brother H.L. Haywood, Editor of the Library department of THE 
BUILDER we print the following extract on the "Rite of Circumambulation" taken 
from the manuscript of his forthcoming book on the "Interpretation of The Three 
Degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry." Study meeting leaders should use this as a 
supplemental paper at the meeting devoted to the study on "Circumambulation." 


PRIMITIVE people, as we have been more than once reminded, firmly believed that 
they could wield influence over a god by imitating his actions. They believed the sun 
to be a god, or the visible embodiment of a god, who made a daily tour of the heavens 
beginning in the East, and progressing toward the west by way of the south; it was 
most natural, therefore, that they should evolve a ceremony in imitation of this. 
Accordingly, in India, in Egypt, in Greece, and in Rome we early find the practice of 

In Greece the priest, or the priest leading the worshippers, would walk three times 
around the altar, always keeping it to the right, sprinkling it the while with meal and 
holy water. The Romans employed a similar ceremony and called it "dextiovorsum," 
meaning "from the right to the left." Being so often used in connection with the rites 
whereby a person or an object was "purified" Circumambulation became, after a time, 
the Roman equivalent of Purification. Also "among the Hindoos," says Mackey, "the 
same rite of Circumambulation has always been practiced," in illustration of which he 

cites the early morning ceremonies of a Brahmin priest who first adores the sun then 
walks towards the West by way of the South saying, "I follow the course of the sun." 
Mackey likewise refers to the Druids as having performed the same rite, and to the 
fact that even in recent years it was a living custom in the remoter portions of Ireland. 
Some have seen in the circular row of stones at Stonehenge, a huge altar built for the 
purposes of Circumambulation, and others have seen in the various processions of the 
early Christian Church a revival of the same custom. It will be interesting, further, to 
note that the Greeks accompanied the journey with a sacred chant, divided into three 
parts, the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode, on which Mackey makes a 
significant comment: "The analogy between the enchanting of an ode by the ancients 
and the recitation of a passage of Scripture in the Masonic Circumambulation, will be 
at once apparent." 

What is the meaning of Circumambulation for us as Masons, and in our daily lives? In 
answer to this we may offer a few typical interpretations including one of our own. 

Circumambulation is sometimes understood, among older Masonic writers, especially, 
as a symbol of the progress of Masonry itself, which, according to the old Legends, 
was supposed to have originated in the East, in Egypt more particularly. This is hinted 
at in one of the Old Charges in which we find the following scrap of dialogue: "When 
did it (Masonry) begin? It did begin with the first men of the East." 

Other writers, Pike among them, see in this symbolism a figure of the progress of the 
civilization of humanity. Whether that civilization began in Egypt as some argue, or in 
Babylonia as others contend, it did begin in the Orient and travelled thence, along the 
Mediterranean, to the Occident, for, "all knowledge, all religion, and all arts and 
sciences have travelled according to the course of the sun from east to west." 

Again, some students see in Circumambulation a drama of the development of the 
individual life, which begins in the young vigor of the Rising Sun, reaches its climax 
in the meridian splendor of the south, and declines to the old age of the west. 

Pierson sees in it an analogy of the individual's Masonic progress: "The Masonic 
symbolism is, that the Circumambulation and the obstructions at the various points 
refer to the labors and difficulties of the student in his progress from intellectual 
darkness or ignorance to intellectual light or truth." 

Yet again, others see in it an allegory of the pilgrimage of the soul through the 
shadows of this earth life. We are born in darkness, and walk all our days in search of 
that which is Lost, the lost harmony among the strings. Believing that somewhere 
there exists the Absolute Life we make a continual search and transform our days into 
a long Pilgrim's Progress. 

These various inteipretations, you will have observed, have their point of departure, 
one and all, in that the Circumambulation is a journey; with this we can not quarrel, 
but may we not also be permitted to fashion an explanation which takes the fact that 
the Candidate walks in harmony with the sun as its point of departure? 

To my mind this is its point of greatest significance, even as it was evidently the 
original idea embodied. Let the sun represent the powers and laws of Nature; let 
Circumambulation be understood as an attempt to work in harmony with those powers 
and laws, and we see at once that the rite gives us the secret of human 
accomplishment. To fight Nature is suicide; to work in co-operation with her is 
power. To keep step with her cycles, to move in sympathy with her vibration, that 
gives us fullness of life. The sailor clasps hands with her winds, the farmer adjusts 
himself to her chemic processes, the artist vibrates with the pulses of her beauty, the 
poet rides upon her rhythms, the saint harmonizes himself with her laws as they rise in 
the soul. It is thus and thus only that we mount the stairs to Eternal Life. 


WHAT is Religion? Our familiarity with churches and their claims of religious 
authority might lead us to identify Religion with some complex set of doctrines such 
as distinguish religious sects. In fact, such sects emphatically and persistently teach 

this. In speaking of different religions, Christian, Jewish, Mohammedan, Buddhist and 
others, we evidently recognize that there is some fundamental similarity, if not a 
common basis, among religious sects. 

The word Religion, in the form religio, is as old as the language of ancient Rome. It is 
derived from one out of two possible Latin root words— lego, I collect; or ligo, I 
fasten. In each case, the central idea is that of Union. The prefix, re, is intensive. The 
whole word Religion means a complete and mutual union. 

From the special application of the word, it must mean an exceptionally important 
union, the great union. Through all its history, it has plainly been intended to express 
the idea of union between man and God, the highest and noblest claim for humanity 
that man has ever conceived. Out of this has grown a secondary meaning, union 
between man and man. These two factors have always been given by spiritual teachers 
as the essentials of Religion. 

It is interesting to note that these two factors have three co-ordinate relations: you, 
united with God; your neighbor, united with God; you and your neighbor united 
together. This is the emblematic Triangle, used as a symbol for Religion and the 
philosophy connected therewith. 

The basic principles of Religion, both natural and revealed, may be summed up, in the 
order in which they appealed to mankind, as: 1 . Belief in the Supreme Being, Creator 
and Ruler of the Universe; 2. The claim of direct human relationship with God, as 
children of the Supreme Father; 3. Recognition of the spiritual element involved in 
this relationship, leading to belief in the Immortality of the Soul; 4. The tenet that, as 
each has within him a spark of the Divine fire, so each is especially worthy of 
consideration, the one by the other, developing into Human Brotherhood. 

Sectaries, while giving their chief attention to other things, may allow these 
principles; Freemasonry is based on them, and painstakingly avoids anything sectarian 
in its teachings, but does not discourage the individual from favoring special 

doctrines. It modestly, but effectually, gives special attention to the principle of 
Brotherly Love, the humblest and most neglected of the great principles of Religion, 
and the very principle that all great teachers have specially emphasized. The whole 
ritual, from the first procedure in the center of the Lodge, to the climax of the drama 
and its immortal lesson, teaches the principles of Religion, and is intended to do so. 

In Religion, hierarchies have claimed exclusive authority and that through them only 
can Divine relationship be established; Freemasonry teaches that Divine relationship 
is inherent in every human soul, that all progress is associated with such relationship, 
and that every man has the natural right to progress. Hierarchies have trained priests 
to govern churches, and through them to govern States; Freemasonry trains men to 
govern themselves, to subdue natural selfishness and vainglory, and to regard all men 
as brothers, equal in all human and Divine rights with themselves. Hierarchies assert 
and magnify doctrines and dogmas peculiar to themselves, and call the complexity a 
religion; Freemasonry teaches and practices and conserves the principles of Religion 

Is Freemasonry Religion ? The question is already answered; not that it is a religion, 
but that Freemasonry is Religion. And it is because Freemasonry is based on 
principles that are common to all religious sects, principles that through all the ages 
have been the foundation of the highest hopes of men, and that have an abiding place 
in the hearts of all men, that our Institution appeals to all and is assured of 


Gauge and gavel and chisel, 
Compass and square and plumb, 

These have each wrought on ye, Masters, 
These by the strict rule of thumb 
All have had part in your making, 

All have brought out the man, 

These are your tools for your training, 

May your powder not flash in the pan. 

With the gauge measure up to the standard, 
With the square prove each thing that ye do, 
And compass and gavel and chisel, 

With the plumb will keep ye all true. 

To ye, Masters, much has been given, 

From ye, Masters, much, much is due, 

For ye may not sit on the side lines, 

Lest your lives at the ending ye rue. 

Where combat and action are thickest, 
Where loudest are sounds of the strife, 
There, Masters, your place is appointed, 
Desert not while yet there is life. 

Be the vows ye have taken your guerdon, 
For light and for progress hold fast, 

Let truth sit enshrined in your being, 
And reward shall be yours at the last. 

Threefold is the price of your freedom, 
Threefold be the victory won: 

Be ye men, not babes, O Masters, 

Would ye gain the praise "Well done." 

Gavel and chisel and gauge, 

Compass and plumb and square— 

What do ye say of them, Masters, 

Have ye let them do their share ? 

— Bro. James Alexander Robertson, Manila, P. I. 

McKinley the mason 


Frederick William Hart, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Northeastern 
Ohio, resides at Jewett, that state. He was educated at Gambier and at Delaware, Ohio; 
and was for several years editor of a county newspaper; then a commercial printer, 
and since 1904, in the ministry. Made a Mason at Danville, Ohio, in 1897. Is Past 
Master of Chardon Lodge No. 93, and has been an active Knight Templar for several 

years, and is a member of Scioto Consistory Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Thirty- 
Second Degree. Bro. Hart has been much in demand as a St. John's Day speaker, and 
is a student of Masonic history and philosophy, and a charter member of the National 
Masonic Research Society. He is 43 years of age, and has a wife and five daughters. A 
friend and admirer of the late President and Brother William McKinley. The portrait 
cut is from a Masonic Festal program, of recent date. 

THE State of Ohio has been lavish in building Memorials to the memory of 
McKinley. No less than three splendid Memorials in his honor grace the Buckeye 
landscape; a statue at Columbus, a stately tomb at Canton, and an equally stately 
Memorial at Niles, the place of his birth. 


The first to be dedicated was the memorial statue at the West gate of the State capitol 
grounds in Columbus, within a few yards of the spot where he twice took the oath of 
office as Governor of Ohio, and addressed his fellow-citizens in the open air. This 
statue, of heroic size, represents McKinley delivering his last address at the Pan- 
American Exposition the day before his death, and surmounts a granite bench at the 
ends of which are allegorical figures representing American ideas in typical form. The 
one statue represents Physical Force and Human Energy in repose— the other shows 
the Heart and Home Life that characterizes American ideals, and well represents and 
pays tribute to the home-loving McKinley, the matron and maiden contrasting with 
the stalwart man and the youth in the other group. There are selections from his 
Buffalo address on the sides of the pedestal, and beneath the statue is the simple tale: 
"William McKinley, President of the United States." The rear of the pedestal recounts 
his birth and death, and says: "Erected by the State of Ohio and the Citizens of 
Columbus, A. D. 1906." Half of the cost, amounting to a total of $50,000, was given 
by the Columbus citizens, and the other half was appropriated by the General 
Assembly of Ohio. Two of the quotations from his great Pan-American speech are 
especially significant at this time, and we quote them: 

"Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict: and that our real 
eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war." 

"Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness and 
peace to all our neighbors: and like blessings to all the peoples and all the powers of 

The statue and allegorical groups are of bronze, and connected by a marble settee, 
where one may sit and meditate, and the background is the beautifully kept capitol 
grounds with the somber old State House brooding over all. The illustration shows 
well the setting of this noble memorial to our brother; and the lifelike statue was the 
work of the sculptor Herman A. McNeil. Mrs. Nicholas Longworth unveiled the 
statue in the presence of 50,000 people, on Sept. 14th, 1906, and dedicatory addresses 
were given by Supreme Judge W. R. Day of Ohio, and Senator John W. Daniel of 
Virginia. And, facing the busy life of Columbus' busiest thorofare, few visitors to the 
city fail to see and admire this dignified tribute to our Brother. 


In Canton, where most of his life was spent, and where his domestic ties were 
centered, and where he was a continual member and attendant upon the activities of 
the Masonic bodies, it is to be expected that one would find a noble and fitting tribute 
in stone, to Canton's distinguished son. In beautiful West Lawn Cemetery, where the 
McKinleys had long owned a lot, and where was laid the sacred dust of their children, 
long years ago, there was chosen a commanding eminence, overlooking the city, and 
graced by the landscape gardener's art, to erect a stately mausoleum of enduring stone, 
reached by great flights of steps, and beautified by the series of waterfalls that rise 
beneath and before the steps, and finally disappear near the cemetery gates. The 
setting of the McKinley National Monument at Canton adds materially to its beauty 
and impressive character, and makes it an awe-inspiring sight to the visitor as he 
approaches the four great flights of steps. Half way up the stairs is a statue of the 
President, in bronze, located on a lofty pedestal— in fact the entire Memorial is lofty— 
and grand in conception and in realization. One passes up the stairs reverently, and 
pauses to read upon the pedestal of the statue these words: 

"William McKinley, President of the United States: A Statesman singularly gifted to 
unite the discordant forces of government and mould the divers puiposes of man 
toward progressive and salutary action. A Magistrate whose poise of judgment was 
tested and vindicated in a succession of national emergencies. Good Citizen. Brave 
Soldier. Wise Executive. Helper and Leader of Men. Exemplar to his People of the 
Virtues that build and conserve the State, Society and the Home." 

The statue represents him in his familiar attitude of public speech, right hand in 
pocket, manuscript loosely held in the left hand. A chair is just behind h m, 
representing the Presidential Office. 

The great dome-shaped structure at the top of the steps is fronted by a facade like a 
triumphal arch— and is itself a plain massive structure, of pure white, but crowned 
with an ornate golden "wreath," which symbolism immediately is understood by the 
most casual beholder. Through vast metal doors one may pass in, with uncovered 
head, and behold two marble sarcophagi, side by side in which repose the mortal 
remains of William McKinley and those of Ida Saxton McKinley, his wife. Only the 
briefest formal inscriptions are on the tomb; but their children are not forgotten by the 
remembering chisel. It is a place of vaulted silence where one pauses and finally 
passes out with slow footsteps, to be thrilled with the wide sweep of civic and arboreal 
beauty that reaches in all directions. The People of the Nation built this— perhaps you 
and I had a bit in it— and his Canton fellow-citizens had large part in the enterprise, for 
was he not their McKinley, whose hand was in the city's growth and progress? And 
one leaves the place with a new concept of the large place that the man had in the 
hearts of his townsmen and his countrymen. Canton guards the ashes of our Brother, 
and guards them well. 


The latest Memorial to rise in white beauty is the National McKinley Birthplace 
Memorial at Niles, Ohio; where, as is well-known, McKinley was bom, January 29, 
1843. In Febmary of 1910 the Association bearing the above name, was born, at a 

Board of Trade banquet, and the movement gained great impetus at once, and was 
chartered by Congress March 4, 1911. To Mr. J.G. Butler, Jr., of Youngstown, is due 
the conception of the idea— and the trustees of the Association embraced such men as 
Milburn, at whose home McKinley died, Hon. M. T. Herrick, and others; and the 
membership by contribution became nation-wide. On October 5, 1917, the Memorial 
was dedicated with much ceremony and splendor, and the notable events of the 
program were an address by ex-President Taft, and a great Oratorio, written for the 
occasion by Mrs. M. E. Kelly, and sung by over two hundred voices— a tribute to the 
"Triumph of Faith," as shown in the life of McKinley. His sister, Miss Helen 
McKinley, unveiled the statue of her brother, and there were civic and military honors 
paid. The Memorial stands in the central part of the industrial city of Niles, a white 
structure of Greek architecture, wings radiating from a central open court in which 
stands the statue. Before this classic statue, moulded by J. Massey Rhind, is a 
beautiful fountain; and around the court are busts of the associates and cabinet of 
President McKinley. There are Roosevelt, Taft, Hanna, Root, Hay and others, in 
marble, like the central statue of the man himself. The statue is inscribed "William 
McKinley, Soldier, Statesman, President." The wings of the structure are arranged in 
rooms and contain an auditorium, library, relic rooms, and housing for other 
activities— for this Memorial, unlike many, is to be a center of real patriotic activities, 
and not a mere monument of silent stone. 

It is an institution that can only be appreciated through a deliberate visit and study of 
its treasures of art and history; and since its halls are dedicated to history and patriotic 
progress, with a noted musician engaged to take charge of its musical work, and with 
lofty plans for usefulness not yet altogether disclosed, the founders of this new sort of 
Memorial challenge our interest, and we shall watch it grow and that expectantly. The 
Memorial is endowed for up-keep, and its future permanence is already assured. This 
Memorial cost one-half million dollars. 

And thus, in the town that gave him birth, where his father was a pioneer in the iron 
trade and active in civic matters, our Brother is highly honored with a great living, 
pulsating, practical Memorial that shall bless and inspire for years and years to come. 
The house in which he was born is also carefully preserved, but the site upon which it 
stood in the forties is now occupied by a savings bank, and is appropriately marked 
with a commemorative tablet. Like the other Memorials, no Masonic design or 
reference is in evidence, but here at Niles, we are told, the Masonic relics of 
McKinley will be kept, among others. And thus appropriately, at his birthplace, his 
burial place, and the State capitol, there stand three worthy and beautiful mementos of 

our Brother whose life was a splendid exemplification of what a Mason should be— for 
McKinley was a serious and faithful exponent of the principles of the Craft. He was a 
long time member of the Symbolic, Capitular and Chivalric bodies at Canton, and his 
interest and devotion to the Fraternity remained continuous to the end of his life, and 
his memory is by the Craft safely deposited in the repository of faithful breasts. 

McKinley’s masonic history 

While McKinley was a Major in the Union Army and located at (or near) Winchester, 
Virginia, in May, 1865, he was visiting the Union hospital and found a state of affairs 
that puzzled him— dirty, ragged Confederate soldiers, and privates at that, in the 
officers' ward and receiving good care. McKinley demanded what that meant, and was 
informed: "They are our Brother Masons." He at once expressed a desire to become a 
Mason himself, and the petition was drawn up and presented, but the nearest Lodge of 
Masons was in the Confederate lines, and thither the petition went. The members of 
that Lodge waived such laws and regulation as might have prevented his acceptance; 
his petition was favorably received and he was made a Mason in Hiram Lodge, No. 

21, at Winchester, Va., in the spring of 1865. The Masonic record of McKinley stands 
today on the records of that Lodge. Bro. J. W. Eggleston, P. G. M., of Richmond, Va., 
to whom we are indebted for most of these facts, says that in all, 32 Union soldiers 
were made Masons in the same Lodge, during the progress of the War. After the War, 
McKinley received the Chapter and Commandery degrees in Canton, Ohio, and the 
writer has a copy of a half-tone picture of Sir Knight William McKinley in full 
Templar uniform, his left hand resting upon the hilt of his sword. Repeated request 
has failed to elicit from his few remaining relatives, or the Masons at Canton, any 
information concerning the dates of his having received the various degrees, but the 
dates are inconsequential; it is sufficient to know that Brother William McKinley was 
a zealous and interested Mason, and maintained his connection with the various 
bodies at Canton until his death. 

There was something beautifully significant in the spirit that the Masons of the North 
and South manifested during the Civil War, and this beautiful spirit was well reflected 
in the case of McKinley. In the course of time, this man who was made a Mason 
among the Confederates, and thus paid tribute to his belief that the principles of 
Brotherhood were broader than political division, or internecine strife this man, then 
President McKinley, in 1898, found a War upon his hands. He did the brotherly thing 

then, for in the prosecution of that War he not only put ex-Union officers in 
command, but ex-Confederates as well; and, to our mind, as he thus splendidly 
healed, or ignored, the last sore-spot of sectionalism, he demonstrated the quality of 
his conception of what Brotherhood means. The Spirit of Masonry helped, in this and 
other cases, to close the breach between North and South, and will exert no little 
healing influence when the World War is over. And Virginia "claims McKinley as a 
Mason yet," they say genially. We can not forbear printing a delightful portion of a 
letter from M. W. Brother Eggleston. He says: 

"When McKinley died, I was Grand Junior Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Virginia 
but the only line officer in Richmond. On the day of his funeral I called all the local 
Lodges by newspaper advertisement, together with their families, to meet that evening 
in the Masonic Temple. I had no sort of authority to do so, but was endorsed 
afterward. I asked an aged P.G.M. to preside after I had opened the meeting. I had 
secured good joint church choirs, and as they came in I asked five speakers to make 
impromptu addresses. It was a great success as a memorial to the best-loved man and 
Mason who had died in one hundred years." And he concludes, "You see we still 
claim him as a Virginia Mason." 

Such incidents and such spirit are the glory of the Institution, and prove how our 
Brother William McKinley wielded his trowel and lavishly, wisely, splendidly spread 
the cement of Brotherly Love. It was such a spirit, on both sides of "Mason and 
Dixon's line" that obliterated that line and made us one Nation. 





IT is these two streams of influence which have led to the use of the two different 
spellings of the word "Gild," the simpler spelling being derived from the Teutonic 
"gelden" or "gildan," meaning to pay or to contribute, in allusion to the common fund, 
out of which doubtless payments to the King were made from time to time, whilst the 
form "Guild" expresses the French or Latin meaning. Though holding strongly to the 
view that our Gild life is more extensively Latin than Teutonic, we adopt the former 
spelling merely from the fact that it is always found so written in the "Laws of 
Athelstan" and in "Doomsday Book." 

Soon after the "Conquest" all the conditions of English life were changed. Norman 
methods were widely introduced and took the place of the earlier Saxon practices. In 
spite of this temporary arrest, the Trade Gilds and Religious Gilds were very soon 
hard at work reestablishing their influence in the country, and, as in Saxon times, it 
once more became impossible for any craftsman to carry on his trade without the 
permission of, and his submission to, the directions of a Trade Gild. Even the 
merchants, or middle men, had to combine into similar organisations, the chief of 
which is known as "The Gild Merchant." 

In the Grocers' Company we see the product of such an organisation, for that 
Company is the descendant of the "Gild Merchant," and, as is well known, that its 
members are called "Grocers" only because they sold in gross. Alas! as in our own 
days, the quarrel between the merchants and the craftsmen often assumed bitter 


About the time of Richard II, Gild life had reached a high pitch of influence, and in 
London it was certainly the dominating factor. In 1296 the Aldermen and Civic 
authorities selected those who were to attend Parliament. In 1375 the Common 
Council had for some considerable time nominated the representation of the City. As 
the members of the Common Council were elected from and therefore representative 
of the Trade Gilds, it is not surprising to note that from 1375 until the time of Edward 
IV, the Parliamentary representatives of the City were appointed by a Committee of 
the Trade Gilds. From that time forward, until the present day, all the members of the 
City "Liveries" have had a voice in the election of those who are to represent them in 

During the Wars of the Roses, as was natural, many of the Gilds suffered both from 
the shrinkage in trade and also from the demands so constantly made upon them by 
Sovereigns, who took every opportunity to enrich themselves by plundering these 
wealthy communities. 

The process usually adopted was to make some encroachment upon the privileges of 
the Gild, thus compelling the Company either to defend itself vigorously - a very 
difficult thing to do in those days— or to buy, generally at considerable expense, 
temporary immunity from attack. This was done by taking out a new Charter, and of 
course paying a very long price to the King for granting it. 

Thus it will be seen that the dates of the various charters, of which members of City 
Liveries have so often been proud, rarely mark the date of their origin or indicate 
anything of their antiquity, but certainly in the case of such trades as were in existence 
in Norman times, only marked a period of weakness and decline such as compelled 
them to yield before the forces brought to bear upon them for mercenary reasons. 

A GREAT REVIVAL A great revival in the Trade Gilds came about at the 
Restoration, chiefly due, we presume, to the increased sense of order and government 
which the short period of the Commonwealth had introduced. During the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries the Trade Gilds continued to live and flourish though they 
were sorely tried by the loss of certain monopolies, and most of all by the growth of 
what are known as the free towns, where goods might be sold irrespective of Gild 

supervision and control, and consequently where the prices, as well as the methods of 
production, were different from those of the Trade Gilds. 

The impetus to commercial progress which the establishment of factories produced in 
the nineteenth century effectually destroyed the machinery of the trade fraternities, 
which gradually declined owing to their loss of power. To illustrate the wide scope of 
early English Gilds, let us quote from an interesting account of the rules of one of the 
oldest— if not the oldest of all City fraternities— dated the forty-seventh year of Queen 
Elizabeth, but being practically a revised version of the orders dating back to the 
thirty- third year of Henry VI. 

Firstly, that the Wardens and Assistants of the Horners' Company are to appoint two 
honest, fit, meet and sufficient persons to provide the raw materials for the various 
tradesmen, and shall distribute them every month to the members in equal parts, 
provided always that at every fourth division and allotment seven of the ancientest 
men of the said Company that have borne the office of warden in the same, shall have 
half one hundredth horns a piece out of the whole complement then to be divided 
among any of the rest of the members, paying for the same, etc. 

That no Freeman of the Company he at liberty to keep at one time more than one 
apprentice, unless he has been a warden or free of the said Company for at least seven 
years, in which case he might take two. 

That any person who shall be made free of the Company shall serve as a journeyman 
for the space of two whole years after receiving his freedom, and then— and not till 
then— may he set up or keep shop for himself. 

Also, that any brother of the said Company breaking any of the ordinances, or who 
shall revile or abuse publicly or privately any Wardens or Assistants of the said 
Company, with the consent of the Lord Mayor for the time being may be committed 
by the wardens to one of the Compters of the City for such a time as their offense 
shall deserve. 


From all this it will appear that the process of becoming a member of one of the City 
Gilds was easier, though a far more lengthy operation, than at the present time. As an 
apprentice he was bound for seven years, and not until the expiration of that period 
could he be made a Freeman of the Company, and even then it was necessary for him 
to work as a journeyman for two years at least before he could be a master of his 
trade, and so eligible for election to the "Livery" of his Company. 

From the Livery were elected the Assistants, and from the Assistants the Wardens. So 
much, then, for the organisation by which it was sought to protect each trade from the 
difficulties of trade disputes, of unfair competition, and especially of lack of cohesion 
in trade matters. 


But there was another side, and a very important side, to Gild-life. In return for the 
extensive powers vested in the Gild its rulers were expected in their turn to carry out 
the very useful office of protecting the public against bad and "insufficient" work. We 
quote from a document of the Bottle Makers' Company, a Gild which, after continuing 
150 years under the aegis of the Homers' Company, finally became merged in that 
Company. The document dates back to the time of Henry VII or Henry VIII, and is a 
copy of the orders made for that Company in the year 1373. 

It states that as some of the said craft make false bottles, as it appeareth by their 
workmanships to the great damage of the Lords and Commons, and to the slander of 
the same good folks . . . that every bottle maker from that time forward shall put his 
sign on every bottle that it may be known whose work it is. 

How severe were the punishments against bad work is a matter of common 
knowledge. It was not at all an uncommon thing, on the discovery of bad work, for the 
culprit to have the whole of his stock confiscated and himself to be either mulcted into 
a fine or in some cases even to be publicly whipped in the presence of the Wardens 
and Assistants of his Gild. 

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the trade communities of London, and the 
same applies in great measure to the other parts of England, were at once the 
educators of the craftsmen and their rulers in all matters relating to the trade. They 
were also the protectors not only of the trade secrets, but of the prices at which articles 
might be sold, a protection which, as free towns grew and developed, ultimately led to 
the decay of the very trade which the Gildsmen so ardently sought to protect. 


Then, further, they watched over the morality of their members in the widest sense of 
that word. Whilst avoiding the obvious danger of using labour without payment 
through the unlimited employment of apprentices, they, alas! laid the foundations of 
ruin to their own trades by failing to provide a sufficient supply of craftsmen. This 
enabled those in the free towns who were not similarly bound and tied to produce 
goods on so extensive a scale that the members of the Gilds found their trades 
deteriorating to an enormous extent, except in the case of those whose wealth was 
sufficient to secure practically the whole output of the raw material. The sad story of 
the decay of the "allround'’ tradesmen, "the master of his trade," and his replacement 
by the sectional workman, is ever present with us. 

There are those and many of them who feel that a return to something in the nature of 
Gild-life, modified, of course, by the demands both of science and increased 
population, would prove the greatest boon to mankind. Unfortunately, the trade 
unions, who themselves are in a sense the representatives of the spirit of the earlier 
craft Gilds, have failed to recognise the importance both of thorough and expert 
training for the young, and also of the value of moral rectitude in the performance of 
all work for which payment is received. 

It may be that a new life will arise amongst our craftsmen after the war, but in the 
meantime our existing Gilds are beacons pointing the way to further progress, and 
standing as they do for the productive forces, which has made the City of London the 
greatest and wealthiest Coiporation in the world, they call for the recognition by 
future generations of the principles for which the Gilds stood— the duty of insisting not 
only on the rights and privileges of those engaged in the work, but particularly on the 
responsibilities on the part of the workers and traders to those communities on whom 
they live. 

Once more, we cannot fail to note that underlying the wisdom and shrewd sanity 
which characterised the commerce of the centuries gone by was an intimate 
association between every Gild and the vitalising forces of Religion. This was 
expressed in all their assemblies. It is to be deeply regretted that the trade 
organisations of today have cut themselves off from the modifying and balancing 
forces which Christianity ever brings to bear on civil movements. It may be that the 
Church itself is to blame for a want of vision and foresight, and it is probable that, had 
the clergy shown a happier and more tolerant sympathy for the aspirations of the great 
masses of the people, the Labour Associations, like the old Board Schools, might not 
have been so severely dissociated from the religious life of the nation. 


Our City Gilds have, in some instances, fallen from grace; that is to say, they have lost 
sight of the fact that without a Chaplain the Gild is an incomplete and more or less 
meaningless Coiporation. But the great bulk of the Gilds are still lighthouses amidst 
the thundering waves of industrial strife which has been raging through the dark night 
of mutual misunderstandings— misunderstandings largely, we now believe, stimulated 
by German treachery, and so long as the Gilds, true to their puipose, continue to form 
that wondrous link with the past, which speaks to us of the days when England was 
"Merrie England" (because its national life and its industrial life cannot be separated 
from its religious life), so long there will be hope of a return to happier times. To 
forward this end all true Christians should throw their personal influence into the scale 
to preserve in all their strength and beauty those glorious traditions which in so rich a 
form England alone possesses, and which once destroyed can never be replaced. 

London, England, will live so long as she has not lost faith in those truths for which 
Gild-life has so successfully battled in the past. 

— o — 



In connection with this article the attention of our readers is called to Brother 
Johnson's article "Masonry in Panama," in the November, 1917, issue of THE 
BUILDER and the report of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of the Grand 
Lodge of Illinois concerning the recognition of the Grand Lodge of Panama, which 
will be found on page 31 of the January, 1918, issue of THE BUILDER. 

IT is unfortunate that the Grand Lodge of Illinois has been misled by the report of the 
Brother who in 1917 was (but no longer is) its Committee on Correspondence, into 
declining to recognize the Grand Lodge of Panama. The publicity given to this report 
in your issue for January calls for an immediate reply lest other Grand Lodges adopt 
the mistakes of this Committee. 

The Committee recommends that the Grand Lodge of Panama be not recognized for 
two reasons: 

First, because its constituent Lodges were originally founded by Supreme Councils; 

Second, because its constituent Lodges had charters from the Grand Lodge of 

The second reason may be easily disposed of by the statement that it is incorrect. 

None of the constituent bodies of the Grand Lodge of Panama have ever "resorted to 
the expedient .... of procuring charters from the Grand Lodge of Venezuela." The 
Brother has drawn an inference from the inmost recesses of his mind which does not 
exist in fact. A number of the constituent Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Panama 
originally received their charters from Venezuela but not from the body to which he 
refers. On the contrary, they w-ere received from the Supreme Council which is 
recognized by the Supreme Councils of the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of the 
United States as well as by others. 

The first reason requires more extended discussion. Is it true that the Grand Lodges of 
this country are to regard as outlaws Lodges of Symbolic Masonry which are founded 
by legitimate Supreme Councils in countries where no recognized Symbolic Grand 
Lodge exists? If it is, then the growth and development of Masonry in many of those 
parts of the world where there are no legitimate Grand Lodges is forever stopped and 
our claims to universality are a delusion and a snare. As we have understood the rule, 
it is in brief to the effect that in countries where there is no Symbolic Grand Lodge but 
where there is a legitimate and recognized Supreme Council, the members of their 
Symbolic Lodges are accorded by us a welcome and the right hand of fellowship. 
Though we have not recognized a Grand Lodge to which they are subordinate, yet, 
nevertheless, we hold fraternal intercourse with them, admit them to our Lodges, visit 
theirs, extend charity to their Brethren when necessary and our Brethren receive the 
same from them. This is true entirely apart from the question whether Sovereign 
Grand Lodges may regard such territory as open to them for the purpose of 
establishing Lodges. 

It should be borne in mind that the Brother who composed the Committee on 
Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Illinois for 1917 has very strong views with 
regard to all but the first three Degrees and if we may judge from his writings claims 
that we have no business to recognize any such as Masonic. 

If we are not to regard the Royal Arch Chapters, the Councils of R.&S.M., the 
Commanderies of K.T. and the Scottish Rite from the Fourth to the Thirty third 
inclusive as Masonic, then, of course, the position which he takes is correct, but we 
supposed that this question had been forever settled during the decade of the 80's 
when, after most elaborate consideration by the ablest Masons of the world, there 
were written into very many of the Constitutions of the various Grand Lodges 
provisions expressly recognizing the bodies mentioned as Masonic. This was done in 
Massachusetts, for instance, after most exhaustive examination and report by a 
Committee which was composed of Brethren, no one of whom had ever received any 
of the Degrees of the Scottish Rite. If there be any serious question that this whole 
matter has not been settled once and for all, then it should be again discussed and 
disposed of. 

Certain consequences, however, should be pointed out which will follow if the views 
of this Committee on Correspondence for the Grand Lodge of Illinois are to govern 
the Masonic world. 

1 . The inconsistence thereof is shown, to begin with, by the fact that the Grand Lodge 
of Illinois recognizes the Grand Lodge of Cuba. This Grand Lodge was organized 
under the Grand Orient system. The charters of the Lodges which composed it upon 
the adoption of its new Constitution in 1865 and of those who joined it for many years 
thereafter had to be confirmed and vised by the Supreme Council. In its organization 
it was not independent as our Grand Lodges are today. It was even less independent of 
the Supreme Council than are the Lodges which compose the Grand Lodge of Panama 
today, for at the organization of the Grand Lodge of Panama its constituent Lodges 
became absolutely independent of any Supreme Council or Grand Orient in the world. 

2. If we are not to accept the legitimacy of Lodges originally founded under the 
Supreme Council or Grand Orient system, then the larger part of the territory of the 
world will be without recognized Masonry from now on for there are in many 
countries but a very few and in some countries no Lodges of Symbolic Masonry 
constituted by Sovereign Grand Lodges, although there are many Symbolic Lodges 
constituted by Supreme Councils. 

In the following countries, for instance, substantially all the Masonry there is in the 
first three Degrees is that established under Supreme Council or Grand Orient system, 
namely: Central America (except Panama and Costa Rica), Argentine Republic, 
Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ecuador, France, 
Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Italy, Luxemburg, Paraguay, Servia, Spain, Turkey, 
Uruguay and Venezuela. In all of these countries except Guatemala, Haiti and 
Luxemburg there exist Supreme Councils recognized by the Supreme Councils of the 
Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of the United States. 

In South America, for instance, there are twentyfour Lodges under the obedience of 
the Grand Lodge of England; seven under that of Scotland; three under that of 
Massachusetts; and seven under that of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg. There are, 
however, known to be at least seven hundred and sixteen Lodges organized under the 
Grand Orient or Supreme Council system. The Grand Lodge of Brazil is believed to 
have three hundred and ninety Lodges; of Venezuela, twenty-four; of Uruguay, 
eighteen; of Paraguay, nine; of Parana, twelve; of Rio Grande do Sul, forty; of the 
Argentine Republic, one hundred and thirty-five; of Chile, twenty-seven. We have 
found these officially reported but we personally know of many more which are not 
included in this computation. An extensive list would require a tremendous amount of 
time in preparation and a large amount of space to print. We, therefore, ask those who 
read this article to accept our word for this statement. As to those listed, we suggest 
examination of the Jubilee number of the Bulletin issued by the International Bureau 
for Masonic Affairs and of the various Supreme Council reports which may be found 
on file in the libraries of most Grand Lodges. 

Although here and there in these countries there are, as we have stated, a very few 
Lodges established by foreign recognized Grand Lodges, yet the substantial Masonic 
unity of the countries is under the Supreme Council or Grand Orient system and is 
sufficiently important officially to be recognized as such by all the Supreme Councils 
of the world. Where there is such strength, it is impossible to enter the territory 
successfully with sufficient number of other Lodges founded by Sovereign Grand 
Lodges to take possession of the Masonic field. Moreover, they cannot oust the 
existing Symbolic Lodges whether they have charters from a Supreme Council or a 
Grand Lodge. They would enter only as disturbers and would accomplish nothing. 

We recognize fully that in all countries the Symbolic Lodges should be, and we 
believe ultimately will be, self-governing but when the Grand Lodges in such 
countries are established, if they are to be successful, they must have in each case as 
constituent Lodges the substantial Masonic unity of the country including those 
theretofore established by the Supreme Councils. 

For brevity's sake, we do no more than suggest the fundamental principle believing 
that the reasons therefor and the proper development thereof will be apparent to every 
thoughtful mind conversant with the situation. 

3. If the Illinois policy be adopted, then we are doing everything humanly possible to 
crush out Masonry in many countries of the world instead of encouraging it. There are 
Blue Lodge Masons holding allegiance to Supreme Councils who are as loyal to the 
principles of our institution as are we ourselves. In most of the countries named they 
are still struggling against intolerance, bigotry and persecution. Individually (and in 
some places collectively) they are struggling for freedom of conscience and the right 
which our fathers in the United States have guaranteed to us through our 
Constitutions, to worship God as each conscience chooses for itself. Masonry would 
be derelict in its duty and false to its principles if it did not give moral encouragement 
to these great aims. Masonry should be ashamed of itself if it is going to hunt for 
technicalities which shall prevent the development of its principles in those parts of 
the world where much is yet to be done. We should seek the substance and not the 
form where we find men who claim to be Masons, who adhere to the landmarks, who 
are the right type and who have received their Degrees in bodies which are regarded 
by the substantial unity of the Masonic world as Masonic. We should offer 
encouragement instead of proscription. Shall we be false to our teachings and 
traitorous to our principles by splitting hairs ? If so, we misunderstand the spirit of the 
Masons in this country. 

4. The Illinois rule, if generally followed, will only strengthen and perpetuate the 
Grand Orient system. Where there has been the Supreme Council or Grand Orient 
system governing Symbolic Lodges, there has almost inevitably resulted political 
chaos. Brother Albert Pike's remedy for that was the establishment of the three first 
degrees under an independent sovereign Grand Lodge composed of the existing 
subordinate Lodges. And Brother Pike was right. We ought to encourage this in 
Panama and elsewhere instead of forcing them to remain under a system which we do 

not believe in. But if they are to be proscribed and outlawed when they adopt our 
system of Masonic organization, then they will stay as they are. 

— o — 




READERS of THE BUILDER will remember that some time ago, in one of our 
announcements of articles to come, we promised a further study of the Comacine 
Masters, by Brother W. Ravenscroft, of England. Owing to the exigencies of the war, 
however, the article was not written, the author being called back to his business from 
which he was retiring, because so many of his helpers were in the service. At last, and 
not without real difficulty, he has finished his study, which will in due time be 
presented to the Members of the Society through its journal. 

In my little book, "The Builders," it will be remembered that I held, as I still hold, that 
the order of the Comacines was the true link between modem and ancient Masonry, and 
for several reasons: First, that the great Cathedrals were planned and built by the Craft 
Masons described in our Old Charges, is to me a thing incredible. Second, we know 
that those monuments of beauty and prayer were not devised by individual artists, but 
by a Brotherhood and as such they are memorials of communities of workmen. Third, it 
is no doubt true that Craft Masons - and even Gild Masons - were employed in their 
constmction; but they must have had the leadership of an order of artists of a superior 

Hence my contenion, following bearer Leader Scott and other students of the Comacine 
Masters, that the great order so named were the real ancestors of Modem Masonry. So 
Brother Ravenscroft held, with great ability, in his little book, "The Comacines, Their 
Predecessors and Their Successors," published in 1910. After reading that little book, I 
asked the author to give me for THE BUILDER the results of certain subsequent 
researches he was known to have made in the same field. The result is the very fine 
report now in hand, which, from first hand investigation on the ground as well as from a 
comparative study of architecture, is a real addition to our knowledge. 

Of course, being a Mason, the author can speak with more intimate knowledge than 
could Leader Scott, who was not a Mason - albeit a brilliant and charming woman. The 
studies of Brother Ravenscroft still further confirm my faith in the theory advanced in 
my little book, as being the only intelligible explanation of the Cathedrals and of the 
Fraternities that built them. Naturally, at the close of the cathedral-building period, the 
Comacine order declined in influence and power, and slowly blended with Craft 
Masonry; but its symbolism and its high tradition were perpetuated - in a shadowy and 
imperfect form, it may be - until they passed over into speculative Masonry. Of the 
facts in the case, our readers will have opportunity to judge as the article appears, and I 
know they will be deeply grateful to Brother Ravenscroft for his service to the Craft. 

* * * 

It is interesting to leam from an article on "Freemasonry in 1917," in the London 
Times, written by its Masonic editor - Brother Dudley Wright - that the Craft has 
actually made greater strides during the three years and a half of war than during the 
same period before the war broke out. Indeed the msh of candidates to its ranks has 
been so great during the last year that the Grand Lodge of England deemed it wise to 
limit the number of candidates who could be admitted to any degree at one time to two, 
instead of five, as was previously the case. This has been so not only in England, but in 
all Grand Jurisdictions in all lands, except in enemy lands, and of conditions there we 
have little knowledge. 

Perhaps the reason is to be found in the Brotherhood which Freemasonry offers, which 
is peculiarly welcome to men in this time when so many ties are broken, and new ties 

are needed. Not many new Lodges have been consecrated in England during the year; a 
very few in fact, and those chiefly in connection with the various branches of the 
national Service - as, for example, the Royal Anti-aircraft Lodge. Other new Lodges 
worthy of special note are the Lratres Calami, mentioned in my last report, and the 
Aldwych Club Lodge of journalists. The class Lodge, of which Americans know little - 
and, in my opinion, should know nothing - is common in England, extending even to 
Church Lodges; a thing which would be impossible in America. But of this matter I 
shall have something to say at another time. 

The war has brought into being a fourth Masonic Institution - the Lreemason's War 
Hospital - in which the Grand Master has taken a keen interest, and the services of 
which are in keeping with the noble spirit the Craft has shown all through this dark 
time. Masonic festivities have been few. Ladies' nights have given place to 
entertainments for wounded soldiers. The number of Brethren who have fallen in the 
war is very great, and there can be few, if any, Lodges which do not have a Roll of 
Honor. Everywhere the Shadow hovers, but it makes our Altar Light bum the more 
brightly, as a foregleam of a time when the shadows will flee away and the morning 

City Temple, London. 

— o — 



THUS tersely does a Brother from the Grand Jurisdiction of Washington state a 
question which has been coming to our desk daily, in one form or another, for months 
past. It cannot be answered in a word, or in a sentence. As a matter of fact, it must be 

answered by each Mason for himself. For each of us has his viewpoint of what channels 
of Masonic activity are legitimate, and because the answer is apologetic or enthusiastic 
cannot in any sense be interpreted as an indictment of the good faith of the Brother who 
gives it. Generally speaking, Masonic thinkers have always been divided into two 
schools. First there were those who believed that Masonry was an institution, as we said 
in our January issue, conceived and organized for the puipose of developing individual 
character of the highest type among its membership, and opposed to the idea of 
collective accomplishment such as is aimed at by the great majority of human 
institutions. Secondly, there have been those who felt that Masonry should stand forth 
as a star of the first magnitude in that great galaxy of Fraternities whose entire aim is 
collective and unified accomplishment. Both have used the oft repeated quotation, "By 
their fruits ye shall know them." In the one case the ideal would perhaps be best 
represented by those plants which produce but a single flower, perfect in form and color 
and fragrance - a strictly individualistic type. With the other group the ideal picture is of 
the tree which on its every branch bears ripe and luscious fruit, presenting an example 
of collective efficiency calculated to arouse the admiration and respect of the world at 

Our answer to the question propounded by the above Brother will depend upon which 
school of thought we champion. If we belong to the first school, we can truly answer 
with enthusiasm that Masonry has been in the front ranks of the armies of the Nation. 
Masons have volunteered their services by the thousands. They have accepted the 
principle of the Draft as the true and fair method by which a Republic defends itself and 
its principles. The members of our great Fraternity have devoted time and money 
without stint in behalf of their Country's need, whether it be in campaigns for the Red 
Cross, the Army Y.M.C.A., or the sale of Liberty Bonds and Thrift Stamps. 

From this viewpoint, also, Masonry itself has met the challenge of the War for 
Democracy within itself. Listen to these significant words from the Grand Lodge of 
New York: 

"Whereas, the Masonic Grand Bodies of France have, by proclamation and deed, given 
fraternal Masonic welcome to our brothers now in France and have proffered to them, 
in fullest measure, their Masonic hospitality; 

"Whereas, We believe the time has come when Masonic brethren, children of one 
Universal Father, in whom humanity are joined together in the Brotherhood of Man, 
should sweep aside the verbal distinctions which separate them, and become united in 
the bonds of the Mystic Tie, in order to accomplish the great work that will devolve 
upon Freemasonry at the end of this World War, therefore - 

"Resolved, by the Grand Lodge of Freemasons in the State of New York, That we give 
fraternal response to the overtures made, or that may be made, by the Grand bodies of 
Freemasonry in France looking to a full and complete restoration of Masonic unity on 
the basis of the principles which are the foundation of all Freemasonry. 

"Resolved, That during the period of the present war we shall extend to every member 
of the Masonic fraternity under the obedience of the Grand bodies of Freemasons of 
countries allied with us in the present war, cordial and fraternal welcome to the lodges 
of our obedience in the State of New York and authorize fully such reciprocal 
intercourse as may be mutually agreed upon between Freemasons and the Masonic 
lodges of our obedience and the regular Masonic lodges and Freemasons of those 

The Grand Lodge of California, under the leadership of that indefatigable worker, 
Grand Master William Rhodes Hervey, has done a splendid work among its 
membership, raising a substantial fund and helping each of the local lodges to carry out 
effective plans for entertainment and service at each camp within the Jurisdiction. At its 
recent annual communication it also passed the following significant resolution: 

"Resolved, That a special committee of five members of this Grand Lodge be appointed 
by the Grand Master to report at the next annual communication some plan whereby if 
possible the breach between French and Anglo-Saxon Masonry may be healed without 
sacrifice on either side of any essential principles or matters of conscience. 

"And be it further resolved: That any inhibition upon the right of visitation heretofore 
imposed by this Grand Lodge be, and the same hereby is, modified to allow Masonic 

intercourse with the Masons in France, Belgium and Italy and to visit any of their 

Similarly has the hand of fellowship been extended across the sea by the Grand Lodges 
of Kentucky, Texas, Alabama and the District of Columbia, to our certain knowledge, 
though their action is not uniform. If further evidence of a desire for accomplishment in 
this hour of Allied struggle is needed, it may be found in the following Resolution, 
passed by the meeting of Grand Masters held in Washington on December 13, 1917, 
following the conference called by Secretary McAdoo: 

"Resolved, That We, the Grand Masters of Masons of California, Utah, North Dakota, 
Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, I,ouisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, 
Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Rhode Island, New 
Hampshire, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, in conference assembled, in the 
City of Washington on December 13, 1917, voting in our own proper persons and 
through our accredited representatives, send these, our cordial and fraternal greetings to 
our Beloved and Most Worshipful Brother Lurtin R. Ginn, Past Grand Master of 
Masons of the District of Columbia, and through him to the Masons of France; and 
commission him as our ambassador to express to them our very great regret that 
conditions are such as to preclude some of our American Grand Lodges from holding 
full Masonic intercourse with their Grand Bodies, and we frilly empower and urge him 
to use all proper means within his power to bring about such changes as will permit the 
closest affiliation and co-operation between the Masons of France and the Masons of 
the United States. 

Grand Master of Masons 
of the District of Columbia, 
Chairman of the Conference. 


Past Grand Master of Masons 
of North Dakota, 

Secretary of the Conference." 


In a large proportion of the States wherein Cantonments are located (if not in all) the 
Grand Masters have issued proclamations tending to insure the extension of Masonic 
fellowship to the Masons training in them, and have set in motion agencies, usually 
through the local lodges, to give to our Brethren of the Army and Navy every possible 
evidence of the Fraternal Tie. Several have started, or have under way, buildings at or 
near the Cantonments where Brethren may meet; facilities have been provided whereby 
anxious parents may be put in touch with the boy who has gone to the colors; in some 
cases free sleeping quarters have been provided in adjacent cities; existing Clubs have 
freely tendered their facilities; a census of the Masons who are in their Country's service 
has been taken, or is in process of completion. Many of the Grand Lodges have 
recommended to their Brethren particular industry in keeping track of the families left 
behind; lodges have arranged for special bulletin letters to be sent at regular intervals to 
the boys at the front. And so it goes, the efficiency of each effort depending upon the 
energy and inventiveness of the particular group. 

The Grand Lodge of Illinois stands alone, so far as we are aware, in the formation of a 
permanent Committee on National Defense with a strong and comprehensive State- 
wide program of immediate and effective action as is indicated in the following letter 
sent by Grand Master Scrogin to all of the lodges within his Jurisdiction: 


OF A. F. & A. M. 


Lexington, January 17, 1918. 

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of all 
Constituent Lodges, A. F. & A. M., of Illinois. 


Pursuant to a recommendation of the Grand Master's Advisory Council, I have 
appointed a committee on National Defense, consisting of the following brethren: 

Ralph H. Wheeler, Chairman, 

Arthur E. Wood, 

Andrew L. Anderson, 

Nelson N. Lampert, 

William L. Shaip. 

The purpose of this committee will be TO ASSIST OUR GOVERNMENT IN THIS 
MIGHTY AGENCY FOR PATRIOTIC ENDEAVOR. The officers and members of 
the lodges are expected to co-operate with the committee in their work, which will 
consist in the raising of funds, the relieving of distress among our soldiers and their 
dependents, providing recreation or entertainment for soldiers in and about 
concentration camps, particularly in Illinois, assisting in the sale of the various bonds 
issued by the government, and likewise the war-saving certificates, conducting of 
campaigns in the support of the Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. and in fact, in any and every 

endeavor that will be of benefit in the prosecution of the present war to a successful 

ft is the desire and hope of your Grand Master, as well as your committee, that all of the 
Masonic lodges in Illinois, and also all Chapters, Councils, Commanderies, 
Consistories, Shrines, Grottos, and Chapters of the Eastern Star, in the state, may 
concentrate their efforts in this movement and by so doing accomplish the greatest 
possible amount of good. 

The moneys collected by this committee will be paid into the Treasury of the Grand 
Lodge and will be disbursed by the Grand Master upon recommendation of the 
National Defense Committee and Finance Committee of the Grand Lodge. This 
committee expects to raise funds by the sale of memberships in what will be known as 

Further details will be submitted to you at a very early date and you are urged to give 
very prompt and active response to all requests coming from this committee. 

ft is hereby ordered that this letter be read in open lodge at the next stated meeting 
following its receipt by the lodge, and that record be made in the minutes when it is 

Fraternally yours, 

Grand Master. 


Grand Secretary. 

The Grand lodge of Minnesota also established a permanent Committee on Our 
Nation's Welfare, but this Committee, so far as we know, is not empowered to build up 
an organization for such activities as the Grand Lodge of Illinois proposes. The list 
given is by no means comprehensive. Practically every Grand Lodge that has met 
within the past six months has taken definite action of one kind or another, looking to 
the fulfilment of its obligations to its Soldier Brethren as it sees them. 


In our January issue we presented the possibilities of united action upon the part of all 
Grand Lodges, Rites and Branches of the Masonic Lratemity, hinting that there was a 
need for the Mystic Tie among our Brethren of the Army and Navy. Only the 
possibilities of such a plan were discussed, with a view to discovering what the 
predominant sentiment of American Masonry might be, along those lines. 

It has been the custom of the writer, at the Yuletide, to send, as a Christmas greeting to 
his intimate friends, a little dissertation in the form of a letter, calculated to convey his 
good will, and at the same time meet them upon the level of whatever discussion might 
most closely approximate his own sentiments at the season. This year the arguments for 
and against united action of Masons upon the question of Army Welfare work seemed 
appropriate. Somewhere, somehow, the writer must have suggested that a plan of action 
was slowly crystallizing itself in his mind, for immediately there came back a large 
number of answers, asking for an outline of the form of co-ordination which might, 
with proper rearrangement and modification, be expected to accomplish the results 
argued for. 

Accepting the challenge these letters contained, we formulated the general scheme 
which is set forth in the center of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin in this issue. This 
in its turn has brought back many responses, all indicating that, while we may not be 
agreed in doing anything at all, yet the subject is worth considering. 

The responses thus far received seem to divide themselves naturally into three classes. 
First are those who are against unified action because they do not believe it is 
necessary, but feel that the activities contemplated in the outline would be duplications, 
and more expensive in dollars than the results could possibly be expected to justify. But 
we submit that it would not be a fair test of the need for organized and united effort to 
base it upon the opinions of a few. And those opinions should be founded upon the 
statements of our Brethren who are in the Army. If they say it is necessary, and will 
produce results which no other agency now engaged in this work can produce, then we 
should not ignore their actual knowledge. 

Then there are those who are in sympathy with the idea of the movement, but believe 
that we already have agencies established around which as a nucleus can be built up the 
machinery of organization that we really need. If this can be established, well and good. 
The writer is looking only to efficiency and unanimous, intelligent co-operation. 

Finally there are those who are whole heartedly in favor of a new movement, who 
believe that while there may be organizations whose activities, merged with an 
organization genuinely representative of Masonry as a whole would materially add to 
its efficiency, and would in some cases give us a personnel which would in itself insure 
the success of the movement, yet feel that the keynote of the situation is unanimity, and 
are willing to give of their time and their money and their energy to help in whatever 
capacity they are needed. 

Of the details of replies it may be interesting to quote briefly: 

An eminent Brother in Canada writes: 

"If one knew just how long this war was going to last one could probably in a better 
way, pass judgment on this scheme. There is every indication of many months of 
struggle yet it seems to me, so that doubtless there would be time to organize along the 
lines that you suggest and do some really efficient work. At the same time, when there 
is a crying need for everything that it is possible to do being done to make the soldier's 
life as pleasant as it is possible, it might be a wiser thing to use organizations already in 
existence, rather than attempt to start another one. I refer particularly to the Y.M.C.A. 
All Protestants, at least, can rally to the support of that, and they can unite in supporting 
it and helping carry on its work. 

"Now, generally speaking, our population and yours is divided into two large classes - 
the Protestants and the Roman Catholics. Do you think there would not be a possibility, 
(if your scheme were carried into effect), that the Protestants' support would be divided, 
and each sect or division considering their own importance, and their members would 
think that it would be up to them to follow the Masonic lead. When you proposed this 
idea, it struck me that it might have the effect, if that were done, of hindering rather 
than helping, and on account of the pressing need of the times at present, I would be 
inclined to say - give your endorsement and support to the organizations that are now 
existent and leave this scheme of yours for dealing with after-the-war problems. They 
will undoubtedly be many and will present the greatest challenge to Masonry that it has 
ever had. 

"There is another feature of your proposed arrangement that in my opinion tends to 
weaken rather than strengthen the organization. That is - the calling in of 
representatives from all of the so-called Higher Branches of Masonry. I am a Scottish 
Rite Mason myself and have nothing but good things to say with regard to that 
organization. I have no doubt but just as good things can be said with regard to the other 
organizations that you refer to. At the same time craft Masonry covers the whole field. 
Your scheme would give a double representation and in some cases it would be a treble 
and quadruple representation to certain sections who belong to these other 
organizations. I believe that the other organizations, a large membership of them at 
least, would rally around craft Masonry in a movement of this kind, and if it were 
limited to the craft lodges I believe it would do away with any feeling of superiority that 
might be in the minds of some belonging to those other organizations. 

"The point that I am trying to make is this: You have unity in the one great 
organization, why even hint at the fact that there might be divided opinions by calling in 
any of those other bodies? Why should the members of those other bodies be entitled to 
double representation as it were? They are all members of the craft lodges." 

As to the well thought out criticism of the proposed plan in this letter, ye scribe can 
only say that it represented his own opinion, up to ninety days or so ago. But actual 
conversation with not less than half a hundred men from widely scattered portions of 
the Country in the Army and Navy in that period has changed his mind. Only one 
soldier Mason thus interviewed failed, in one way or another, to ask the question, 
"What is Masonry going to do?" And only one gave it as his conviction that the 
Y.M.C.A. organization and methods would even approximate the effectiveness of 
Masonry if engaged in similar activities in behalf of its votaries. Wherefore ye scribe 
believes that Masonry should ask its Army members what their opinion and desire is, 
and be governed by what, after a careful canvass of the situation throughout the 
Cantonments, the majority of enlisted Craftsmen shall report. 

* * * 

The Society of Actual Past Masters of Marion County, Indiana, adopted a resolution to 
the effect that they "hereby express our sympathy with any and all efforts to co-ordinate 
the full strength of regular Masonry in the United States in the interest of the Flag in 
general, and specifically do we sympathize at this time with such efforts in the interest 
of Master Masons who may now or hereafter be or become members of our National 
Army and Navy." 

* * * 

Typical of the larger percentage of replies received is this from an energetic Brother 
who believes that not only should Masonry be doing its work within American 
boundaries, but that it should extend "hands across the sea" in a manner calculated to 
promote world- fraternity in every possible Masonic phase. He says: 

"Americans have been talking loudly about every man "doing his bit" before breakfast, 
or before dinner, or for a few minutes at night. Perhaps we have been rather proud of 
the fact that every man, woman and child seems to be doing something if it is only 
saying 'hurrah for the Flag.' There has been a great deal of comfortable eating at food 
conservation banquets and much flag waving and spilling of oratory in the cause of 
patriotism and the boys we are sending to do the fighting. But we must not talk about 
doing our bit, but 'doing our utmost.' Some of us are beginning to suspect that before 
this war is over it will take every ounce of energy and every dollar to spare that the 
country has. Instead of our bit, we must do our ALL, for this is the true way of 
brotherhood. The ideal that we are now fighting for must not be extinguished from the 

"Just this thing that has happened to the Nation has happened to American 
Freemasonry. With smug self-congratulation we have told how we invested our money 
where there was no chance of losing it, in Liberty Bonds. We really have given 
something to the Red Cross, and done some wolk for it, and contributed to the 
Y.M.C.A. A good number of eloquent speakers who are keeping the country stirred up 
to remembrance of what we are really fighting for are Freemasons of considerable 
practice on the Masonic platform. Beyond talking and a little money, what have we 
done ? What can we do ? What should we do ? 

"Ask the boys in the trenches. I have talked with officers and privates. They know what 
they want. They are pleased and proud that we have done our bit. But really we owe 
them everything we can do for them to the length of our cable tow, and who but 
ourselves can say how that cable tow stretches ? 

"It is a graceful thing that lodges have done in relieving members of paying dues while 
they are in service, as some have done, or sending Christmas gifts and keeping in touch 
with them by writing letters. All of the small things that have been done by individuals 
to give them a touch of home have been done, but the big thing that our soldier Masons 
want, that they have told me about, is to have a chance to meet their brothers as Masons 
in lodges abroad as they do here, to be able to grasp the hand of every Mason and call 
him Brother, feeling sure that there is that sympathy which cannot be felt elsewhere." 

Wherefore it would seem that, no matter which of the two general schools of Masonic 
thought best suits us, we have a very real problem before us for solution. If our analysis 
of what so many Army Brethren have said is correct, then Masonry should immediately 
study this problem. As this is written, announcement comes that the Rockefeller 
Foundation is to engage in welfare work in the Armies, and has made a large 
appropriation for the puipose. What its particular scope is is not so important as the fact 
that trained experts have found something to do which is necessary. No one agency can 
hope or expect to minister to every need. Our inquiry should be "What are the needs 
from the Masonic standpoint ?" 

In formulating a business policy, or in analyzing a financial statement to see what the 
results of any given policy are, "the biggest fool is the man who fools himself." At best, 
human foresight cannot visualize all that the future has in store. Wherefore ye scribe 
has been ruthless in presenting more of criticism than of commendation in these 
summaries. Whatever is done, we need the combined wisdom of our Fraternity to plan, 
to develop, to execute. But let us not fear to get together, to discuss our fraternal duties, 
remembering that 

"The man who cannot think is less than man; 

The man who will not think is traitor to himself; 
The man who fears to think is superstition's slave." 

Summarizing our reply to our member's query, then, we can only say that, though 
Masonry has accomplished much, both as an organization and through its individual 
membership, it has only done its "bit." There are many who feel, and, frankly, ye scribe 
is one of that number, that, far from "doing our all," we have not yet even visualized our 
real obligation. We must think this thing through as a Fraternity, we must act as a 
Fraternity, if at all. Recognition of our ability to provide a world- wide basis of co- 
operation must come from within. It is ours to discuss, not in any spirit of self- 
adulation; but if the challenge to our efficiency is as real as it appears to the writer, then 
the future influence of Brotherhood is at stake from within as well as from without. - 



(The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books 
not always familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with 
such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will 
be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs 
and lodges, either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish 
to leam something concerning any book - what is its nature, what is its value, or how it 
may be obtained - be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth 
a review write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book - any book - we will help 
you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary 


IT is well for the writer that his duties in the present connection make no demand upon 
him to criticize the "Collected Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry" by Robert 
Freke Gould; it is doubtful if there live a dozen men with either the temerity or the 
equipment to wrestle with this savant, so magisterial is his authority, so profound and 
spacious is his learning. Already he has become a classic in Masonic scholarship and 
long will the day be postponed when, on either side the sea, it can be said, "A greater 
than Gould is among us." No, the purpose of this slender screed is to serve as a kind of 
amplified table of contents to the work above named, but this function, modest as it is, 
is one wherein a student may take delight, for the better known are these essays the 
better it is for the Craft. 

A few of the papers collected in this book were first published in English Masonic 
journals but most of them appeared primarily as contributions to the Quatuor Coronati 
Lodge of Research, and, save for the Transactions of that Lodge, which may still be had 
by those with enough interest and money, the book offers us the best specimen of the 
enduring value of the Coronati papers of anything extant. 

The first two essays deal with the many problems clustering about the old manuscript 
constitutions, a collection of which were made by W. J. Hughan. Being the oldest of all 
written records of Lreemasonry these "Old Charges" - as they are often called - are of 
unique interest to the Masonic student. Volumes without number have been written 
about them by specialists in many countries but the busy reader will find everything in 
Gould's two essays that have any value. 

Next after these there follows an essay on The Assembly. Some writers have held that 
long before the first Grand Lodge, Masons were accustomed to meet at long intervals in 
a great gathering wherein all matters appertaining to the Craft at large were discussed 
and acted upon. Gould believes that there may have been Assemblies of all gilds at 
various times and places but he is in doubt about any Masonic Assembly. 

Thereafter the author turns to a discussion of "Old Scotch Masonic Customs" with the 
purpose of ascertaining what bearing Scotch Masonry had upon English; his conclusion 
is that the English was the original and owes little to the Scotch and he tears to pieces 
most of the tales of the rise of the "higher grades" in Scotland. 

In a brief paper he throws together all the actual evidence which throws light on the 
evolution of the fraternity in England itself; it would be a good thing if all flamboyant 
writers on our history, bent on stretching every inch of fact into a mile of theory, were 
made to learn this essay by heart. Of all writers Gould is least given to mere theorizing, 
even as he is least given to dogmatizing, and the reading of his few pages on the above 
theme has a sobering effect on every man who sets himself to unraveling the fascinating 
but tangled skeins of our historical traditions. 

In the "Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism" Gould gives us his version of the history of 
those elements whereof our ritual is made, while in his "Voice of the Sign" he has 
gathered together a mass of material which throws light on the manner in which men 
everywhere have made use of symbolism. He holds that a study of our history and our 
symbolism "must be proceeded with conjointly" because the latter has so often arisen 
from the former, and he believes that many of our most important symbols have come 
down to us from very ancient sources. As an architect will sometimes build into his 
walls stones taken from another building long in ruins so has the Masonic institution 
made use of symbols originally a part of a more ancient institution; this antiquity gives 
them more, not less, value. 

In his essay on the question, "Whence came the name 'Free' Masonry," he holds that 
even yet, in spite of the many learned attempts to explain the matter, we have no secure 
answer, and he offers the problem as a tough object on which future Masonic scholars 
may try their skill. 

Perhaps the most famous of all the essays included in the collection is the study of the 
"Degrees Problem." How many degrees were there before 1717? one or two? whence 
came the Third? Crawley, Speth, Hughan, Begemann, and many other giants of 
research have wrestled with this. Gould takes the position that Speth was right in 
contending for two degrees, but he holds that the substance of all three were in 
existence long anterior to the first Grand Lodge. 

The "Holy Royal Arch" comes in for a royal study, as do other matters about which 
there is not space to write. Perhaps THE BUILDER may be justified in calling especial 
attention to the two or three brief papers on "The Masonic Press." Gould holds that the 
function of the press is not to serve out raw amateur theories of its own but to pass on to 
the rank and file of the Craft the results arrived at by the specialists. The closing 
sentences of these essays might fittingly be inscribed above the lintels of the "House of 
Light" wherein the present journal is edited, for they express to a nicety that which it is 
the hope of THE BUILDER to do: 

"The extent to which the history of our own Craft has been critically and intelligibly 
dealt with by writers of the present generation, is a question on which, for obvious 

reasons, I should hesitate to pronounce any judgment at all. But wherever they have 
failed to bring down to the level of the ordinary mind the bearings of the latest 
discoveries, let us hope that what Proctor did for Astronomy, what Huxley and Wallace 
achieved for Natural History, what Tyndall accomplished for Physics in this country, 
and Helmholtz in Germany, may be done for Masonry by the organized labors of the 
Masonic Press." 

— o- 


(The Builder is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors 
writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a 
unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does 
not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to 
all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its 
own merits.) 


The above caption in the Question Box for January brings up a much discussed subject 
in the Lodge of which I am the Secretary. I publish monthly a bulletin of coming 
meetings and have been asked repeatedly to put in it the names of candidates for ballot 
and degrees. This I have as repeatedly refused to do. 

John Smith, a much respected young man in his community, petitions the Masonic 
Lodge for membership. The Lodge receives the petition and the Secretary sends each 
member a notice, (sealed, if you will,) that John Smith will be balloted for on such and 
such a night. Mr. Thotless Mason receives the notice, looks it over and lays it down on 
his desk. Mr. Nozie Mann, not a Mason, drops in on business and in the course of 

conversation spies the notice and learns that John Smith has petitioned the Masonic 
Lodge. In due time, John Smith is balloted for and is rejected. Later, Mr. Nozie Mann 
meets Mr. Smith and casually asks if he is a Mason. 

The secrecy of the ballot has been lost. The Secretary and the thoughtless member have 
both violated their obligations and put the rejected candidate in a most embarrassing 

Perhaps the imaginary circumstances are improbable - even so, they are not impossible, 
and Masonic law does not caution us against improbabilities. Connecticut law 
(Lockwood) says: "The rejection of a candidate shall not be made known to the 
uninitiated other than the candidate so rejected." 

From your wider viewpoint, is the stand taken justified? 

C.H.S., Connecticut. 

Your argument is a very good one, Brother S., for your side of the question. In many 
Grand jurisdictions the practice is prohibited by Code, while it is authorized in others. 
We shall be glad to publish what our other members have to say on the subject. Perhaps 
some brother of a jurisdiction wherein the practice prevails may be able to give us some 
good reasons why the names of prospective candidates should be published in Lodge 
notices other than that given by Brother L. J. in the January BUILDER. 

* * * 


Have you any information concerning English Lodges now Operating in France? I 
presume they would be Army Lodges. If there are any Lodges of the sort, would they 
be recognized by Grand Lodges in this country ? This question was recently disputed in 
our Lodge and any information you may give will be a very great favor indeed. - 
C.R.A., Kansas. 

We find record of three travelling Military Lodges under jurisdiction of the Grand 
Lodge of England. One of these, the "Unity, Peace and Concord, No. 316," is with the 
Second Battalion of Royal Scots. Another, "Social Friendship, No. 497," is with the 
Second Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. The military unit with which the third, 
"Pegasus, No. 2205," is connected, is not given. 

It is very probable that ah of these Military Lodges are now at the front "Somewhere in 
France." As each of these Lodges is working under a charter from the Grand Lodge of 
England, they are certainly recognized by ah the Grand Lodges of the United States. 

* * * 


What is the status of Masonry in Germany today? 
E.L.P., Indiana. 

R.D.P., Ohio. 

We presume the information desired is concerning the numerical strength of the 
Masonic Bodies in Germany. The following figures are taken from the List of the 
Masonic Grand Lodges of the World published by the Masonic Relief Association of 
the United States and Canada: Grand Countries Lodge of Saxony at Dresden. 

Lodges, 34; Members, 5,001. 

Recognized before the war by Ga., Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y. Grand Lodge of the Sun at 

Lodges, 37; Members, 3,536. 

Recognized before the war by Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y. Grand Countries Lodge of the 
Freemasons of Germany at Berlin. 

Lodges, 141; Members, 15,373. 

Recognized before the war by Ga., Mo., N.J., N.Y. Grand Lodge "Zur Eintracht" at 

Lodges, 8; Members, 727. 

Recognized before the war by Colo., Mo., N.J., N.Y. 

Grand National Mother Lodge of the "Three Globes" at Berlin. 

Lodges, 160; Members, 16,894. 

Recognized before the war by D.C., Ga., Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y. 

Grand Mother-Lodge of the Eclectic Masonic Union at Frankfort on the Main. 

Lodges, 23; Members, 3,496. 

Recognized before the war by Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y. 

Grand Lodge of Prussia, called "Royal York of the Friendship" at Berlin. 

Lodges, 78; Members, 7,936. 

Recognized before the war by Mo., N.J., N.Y. Grand Lodge of Hamburg. 

Lodges, 61; Members, 6,372. 

Recognized before the war by Mich., N.J., N.Y., S.D., Vt. Free Union of the five 
independent Lodges of Germany. 

Lodges, 6; Members, 1,433. 

Not recognized by any American Grand Lodges. 

Our opinion of German Masonry and German Masons of the present day is best 
expressed by Brother Newton in his article "Voices From German Masonry" in the 
Library Department of THE BUILDER, volume III, page 187. 

* * * 


Can you give me any information regarding the "Lodge of Nine Sisters"? - C.P.L., 

Strict search throughout the several apartments of "The House of Light" fail to unearth 
any reference to a "Lodge of the Nine Sisters." Presumably it is the "Lodge of the Nine 
Muses" that you have in mind. Of this Lodge we are able at this time to find only the 
following references: 

"May 4th, 1775, Bro. Karsakoff 'of the Lodge of the Muses at Petersburgh in Russia' 
was present as visitor. A Russian had been initiated in the Lodge on February 23rd and 
another was passed on this occasion. (The Lodge referred to must be the 'Lodge of the 
Nine Muses,' No. 466, which was warranted in 1774 by Senator Yelaguin, who had 
received a patent from the Duke of Beaufort, G. M., as Prov. G. Master for all the 
Russias. In 1776 it joined the National Grand Lodge of Russia, but was not erased from 
the English Register until 1813. Gould and Lane.)" - From the paper "Two Old Oxford 
Lodges," by Bro. E. L. Hawkins, in Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, vol. 

In the article "Freemasons in the American Revolution" by Brother Lobingier, in this 
issue, Brother Benjamin Franklin is mentioned as being a frequent visitor at the "Lodge 
of the Nine Muses" in Paris. 

Perhaps some of our members may be able to give us more information concerning this 
Lodge or the several Lodges of this name. 

* * * 


We are sending out a semi-monthly letter to our soldier-brethren. Can you give me any 
information that will be of value to them when they go over-seas? Where, if any, are the 
Masonic headquarters (soldier-clubs) in London and Paris? I will thank you if you can 
give me any information along these lines. - M.L.D., Indiana. 

We can find no information concerning such headquarters being maintained in London 
but have written an English brother to leam if any such headquarters have been 

The Masonic Bureau for the Allied Armies in France, 16 Rue Cadet, Paris, has 
requested the publication of the following letter, addressed to the Freemasons of the 
United States: 


"The world-wide conflict for the liberation of oppressed nations, and for the triumph of 
the principles of Justice and Liberty in which a good many Allied countries now take an 
effective part, has assembled on French soil most of the glorious armies fighting for 
right, who are now to be joined by an imposing contingent of your noble country. 

"In the first ranks of these gallant troops, their arm strengthened by their ideal, we are 
sure to find, more numerous every day, Freemasons of the United States of America, 
and we have thought of offering them as soon as they arrive in the French capital, a 
warm, fraternal welcome, becoming among brother Masons. 

"Under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France our worshipful Lodge, 'La Fratemite 
des Peuples,' has formed a reception committee for Masons belonging to Allied 
countries with its seat at the Temple of the Grand Orient, 16 Rue Cadet, a real Masonic 
home. Here our brethren will always find devoted Masons, speaking their language, 
ready to answer all inquiries and furnish any useful information they may require to 
assure them a fraternal help in all circumstances, to keep in touch by corresponding 
with them, to visit them in case they are ill or wounded, to serve as intermediary 
between them and their relatives, etc. 

"The usefulness of this central bureau will at once be apparent to you, not only for our 
brethren who are in the army, but also to those near and dear to them and who in their 
thoughts will follow them across the Atlantic and who will know that they are not left 
to themselves and abandoned among the dangers of everyday life, but that a fraternal 
and helping hand is always extended to them in case of need. 

"We therefore ask you to kindly inform the brethren of your worshipful Lodge and their 
relatives that in applying to us they will always find us ready to be of use to them and 
happy to render them any service within the measure of our means and capabilities. 

"Please communicate this letter to the Lodges under the jurisdiction of your Grand 

"We are, worshipful sir and brethren, yours most fraternally and sincerely, for and on 
behalf of the 


"P. S. Please address your correspondence to the W. M., A. Besnard, F. D. P., 16 Rue 
Cadet. Paris (9)." 

— o- 



I send you copy of a report submitted by me at the last meeting of our Grand Lodge, 
touching the Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient of France. The report was unanimously 
adopted by our Grand Lodge. O. D. Street, Alabama. 

To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Alabama, A.F. and A.M.: 

Your committee of Foreign Correspondence has had referred to it a communication 
from the Grand Lodge of France extending an invitation to this Grand Lodge to enter 
into fraternal relations with it and to arrange for an exchange of representatives. It is 
proper to state that this is not the recently formed so-called "National Independent and 
Regular Grand Lodge for France and the French Colonies" to which we refused 
recognition one year ago, but a Grand Body organized in 1879 under the auspices of the 
Supreme Council 33d, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In 1904 it, however, 
became entirely mdependent of the Supreme Council and now controls the three 
symbolic degrees. The claims of this Grand Body to recognition have never been fully 
considered by the Grand Lodge of Alabama. The nearest approach to such 
consideration was in 1912 when the Grand Master answered an inquiry from New 
Mexico that we did not recognize the Grand Lodge of France because it did not require 
the Bible to be displayed in its lodges. This action of the Grand Master was approved 
by the Grand Lodge. 

Your committee has also received a communication from the Grand Orient of France, a 
separate and distinct body from either of those already mentioned, which controls many 
degrees including the first three. In 1878, this body was carefully considered by the 
Grand Lodge of Alabama and fraternal relations with it were severed, because it had in 
1877 eliminated all reference to Deity from its constitution and ritual and no longer 
required of its initiates a declaration of belief in Deity. 

During the recent months, circumstances have given renewed importance to the subject 
of the relations between the Masonic bodies of France and those of the United States. 
Thousands of American Masons, including many from Alabama, find themselves in 
France and companions in arms with French Masons. It is not at all certain that there 
will be among them lodges chartered by their own Grand Lodges wherein they may 
enjoy the pleasures of Masonic intercourse and labor. But whether there are or not, it is 
highly desirable that there should be, during the war, the fullest possible measure of 
social and fraternal intercourse between American Masons and those of France, not 
only that nothing may arise to disturb the harmony already existing but that the people 
of these two great republics and traditional friends may be knit together even more 
closely than ever. 

At the same time, your Committee is not possessed of sufficient information to make a 
recommendation at this time as to what should be the permanent attitude of the Grand 

Lodge of Alabama towards these two Grand Bodies. Without deciding this question the 
Grand Lodge of California, Kentucky and New York have recently taken action 
authorizing Masons of their obediences to visit lodges of the Grand Lodge and Grand 
Orient of France and to hold Masonic intercourse with their members, pending further 
consideration as to what shall be their final action. This appears to us as a cautious and 
at the same time fraternal course and we have decided to recommend that this Grand 
Lodge take similar action. It can certainly do no harm and will afford an opportunity for 
us to leam more of French Masonry than we have heretofore known. 

We therefore recommend the adoption of the following: 

1 . Resolved, by the Grand Lodge of Alabama, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, that 
Masons holding membership in its lodges are, until otherwise ordered, privileged to 
visit lodges of the Grand Lodge and of the Grand Orient of France and to hold Masonic 
intercourse with their members. And lodges holding under this Grand Lodge are 
authorized to admit visitors from said Grand Bodies of France. 

2. Resolved, that the Committee on Foreign Correspondence gather all obtainable 
information and report to the next Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge its 
recommendation as to what should be the attitude of this Grand Lodge towards those 
Grand Bodies. OLIVER D. STREET, 

Chairman Foreign Correspondence Committee. 
Unanimously adopted December 6, 1917. 

* * * 


Freemasonry lays claim to being an organization universal in its recognition and 
brotherly in its fellowship, therefore the implication naturally follows that an utter 
stranger from another part of the state or country would be admitted to any Lodge as a 
visitor, provided, of course, he could demonstrate the fact that he had been regularly 
initiated, passed and raised to a Master Mason, was in good standing as evidenced by 
his card and diploma to the satisfaction of the examination committee, that being the 
agency by which the Lodge carries on negotiation with a visitor. 

The committee is in a position of great responsibility, in view of the fact that it may 
reject a worthy brother and admit a rank impostor, and for this reason the committee 
should exercise the greatest of care for the position carries with it a great honor. 

Personally, I have had the honor of serving on such a committee on different occasions 
and my position and actions can be summed up in the following words: 

1 . Remember that you are either dealing with a Mason or an impostor. 

2. Be courteous and considerate, yet firm at all times. 

3. Under no circumstances get funny or joky; be manly and apright. 

4. Don't use too much authority or be unnecessarily strict; ideas are sometimes of more 
real worth than words, and some mighty good Masons have very short memories. 

5. Give no hints or suggestions and do not attempt to correct any mistakes. 

6. Let him tell his story in his own way and accept what he offers. 

7. Give no reason for rejecting him if you should do so. 

8. Be governed by his action and words as they form the general results. 

9. Some real Masons may answer your questions in a way that you deem poorly. 

10. The man that appears too bright and answers all questions too glibly may arouse 

1 1 . As I take it, it is the committee's business to obtain evidence, the visitor to impart it. 

12. Sometimes documentary evidence is not altogether to be relied upon. Have known a 
rank impostor to have in his possession Masonic evidence that did not belong to him 
whereby he deceived an excellent and prudent committee, besides, documentary 
evidence is not required in some jurisdictions while it is in others. 

13. To be able to answer all questions may not prove a visitor worthy, as has been 
demonstrated more than once, but if the committee will use good judgment and watch 
the visitor closely as to his general expression and manner of answering questions, it 
ought to be able to determine pretty accurately the worthiness of the visitor after having 
gone through with a reasonable number of test questions, and at the same time used him 
in such a way as to let him know that you are protecting Masonry and according him his 

There seems to be no general set rules laid down as to how the visitor is to be examined 
or as to what questions are to be asked; some jurisdictions move along one line and 
another proceeds altogether in a different manner, and some questions asked in one 

jurisdiction would be considered absolute "tommyrot" in another, and as I said before, 
there being no set rules for examining a visitor, the best way, in my judgment, is to use 
good common sense, and treat the visitor as you would like to be treated. Take this for 
what it is worth: I am only giving you my ideas and the way I have acted when called 

Robert A. Turner. Washington. 

— o- 


In the ancient rituals the three lesser lights were the Sun, Moon and Mercury, which 
may prove of some interest in contemplating the attributes of the Master. 

Mercury was synonymous with Hermes or Thoth, the Egyptian mythological being to 
whom is ascribed the invention of the art of writing, and who presided over the true 
science concerning the gods. He was worshiped as the god of wisdom, and to him is 
credited the formation of the Egyptian year. 

He is said to have inscribed his knowledge upon two columns, one of brick and the 
other of stone. The one of stone, Josephus says, was still to be seen in his day in the 
Siridiac land. 

Manetho, a priest of the era of the first Ptolemy, declared that he had seen it, and that it 
was engraved in sacred characters, which after the Deluge were translated into the 
language of the priests. 

In another place he is said to have recorded his wisdom on an emerald tablet, 
embodying therein the great work of regeneration, or the science of the return of the 
soul to the Father. Hence his attributes are those of a "Master." 

These curious conceits are scattered through history and literature, and true students of 
the Mysteries are commended to read Morals and Dogma, and more particularly pages 
7, 254-255, 362-364, 614, 731, 774-776, 851. This is not nonsense, but bears pondering 
and deep thought. It is the wisdom of a man to search out a matter. - Rob Morris 

— o- 

Keep possession of your soul. One is always a loser at the game which robs his soul of 
serenity.... - Peter du Moulin.